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Wasteland: Oliver Franklin-Wallis & Prof. Kate Spencer

Thursday 29 June at 7:30 pm
Oliver Franklin- Wallis and Prof. Kate Spencer discuss “Wasteland: The Dirty Truth About What We Throw Away.

‘A gripping read that will anger as much as it fascinates’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

‘An incredible journey into the world of rubbish, full of fascinating characters and mind-bending facts’ Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland

‘Urgent, probing and endlessly interesting’ Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment

‘A fascinating, deeply researched and hugely important exposé of what happens to the stuff we no longer want, and the social and environmental cost of dealing with it’ Gaia Vince

‘Compelling, smart, fair, often funny, always interesting, and just very important’ Mary Roach, author of Stiff

‘There are stories in all our discarded things: who made them, what they meant to a person before they were thrown away. In the end, it all ends up in the same place – the endless ingenuity of humanity in one filthy, fascinating mass.’

When we throw things ‘away’, what does that actually mean? Where does it go, and who deals with it when it gets there? In Wasteland, award-winning journalist Oliver Franklin-Wallis takes us on an eye-opening journey through the global waste industry. From the mountainous landfills of New Delhi to Britain’s overflowing sewers, from hollowed-out mining towns in the USA to Ghana’s flooded second-hand markets, we meet the people on the frontline of our waste crisis – both those being exploited, and those determined to make a difference. On the way, we discover the corporate greenwashing that started the recycling movement; the dark truth behind our second-hand donations; and come face to face with the 10,000-year legacy of our nuclear waste.

Both shocking and hopeful, Wasteland is the timely and ultimately human story at the heart of an urgent global issue.

Oliver Franklin-Wallis is an award-winning magazine journalist, whose writing has appeared in WIRED (where he is a contributing editor), British GQ, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, 1843, and many other publications.

In 2017, he was named ‘Print Writer Of The Year’ by the British Society Of Magazine editors. He has written about art fraudsters and deep-sea explorers, reported from Liberia on the ebola virus, chronicled the fractious race to build a hyperloop, and profiled countless startup founders, scientists, film directors and celebrities.


2021 ‘Freelance Writer Of The Year’, The Freelance Writing Awards

2019 ’30 To Watch’, MHP Young Journalist Awards

2017 ‘Print Writer Of The Year’, British Society Of Magazine Editors

2017 (Shortlisted) ‘Writer Of The Year’, PPA Awards

2016 ‘Digital Writer Of The Year’, The Drum Online Media Awards

2014 (Shortlisted) ‘Best Web Writer’, BSME Rising Star Awards

Prof. Kate Spencer

Kate has over 20 experience as an environmental geochemist and coastal scientist. Her work is interdisciplinary and she works with geomorphologists, modellers, oceanographers, engineers and ecologists to provide the fundamental science to help manage sediment and pollutants in coasts, estuaries and lowland rivers. Much of her work explores how climate change (sea level rise, flooding, erosion) and anthropogenic activities impact polluted sediments and the potential consequences for ecological health and the water environment. She has also worked with material scientists and engineers to develop innovative approaches to examine the microscale structure of sediments to help predict their transport and how coastal salt marshes respond to storm events. She has been president of the Estuarine and Coastal Science Association and provided expert advice to Defra, the Environment Agency, the United Nations and the environmental sector on issues associated with sediment pollution, sediment management and historic landfills.

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Thursday 29 June
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


The Wanstead Tap Ltd
352 Winchelsea Road
London, England E7 0AQ United Kingdom


The Wanstead Tap