450,000 Unsold Earth Day Issues Of Time Trucked To Landfill

Top Headlines

Recent News

What The Planet Will Look Like In 2100

As scientists try to project the effects of climate change into the future, many of these forecasts only go as far as 2100, a year beyond which the alterations to our environment become much harder to predict. Here is a breakdown of what we can expect our world to look like in 2100

Your Horoscopes – Week of May 1, 2012

ARIES: You will experience unbounded happiness and success in every area of your life this week, unless of course there is something fundamentally and irreversibly wrong with you.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Roger Federer Stunned By Sheer Amount Of Trash On U.S. Open Courts

NEW YORK—Surveying the piles of wrappers, old newspapers, and empty bottles scattered around the playing surface during his pre-match warmups, world No. 2–ranked tennis player Roger Federer expressed utter disbelief Monday over the sheer amount of trash on the U.S. Open courts.

God Wondering How Far He Could Throw Earth

THE HEAVENS—His gaze shifting from the terrestrial planet out to the expanse of the universe and then back, The Lord Almighty, Our Heavenly Father, reportedly wondered aloud Tuesday just how far He could throw the Earth.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Originality

House and Home

Deadline For Prior User To Remove Clothes From Dryer Extended 5 Minutes

JOHNSON CITY, TN—Upon finding the machine in her apartment building’s laundry room completely untouched since she last stopped by, exasperated local woman Sandra Hermus reportedly mounted all her magnanimity Monday and extended the deadline for the previous user to remove their clothing from the dryer by five minutes.

450,000 Unsold Earth Day Issues Of Time Trucked To Landfill

STATEN ISLAND, NY–An estimated 450,000 unsold copies of Time's special April 22 Earth Day issue were trucked Monday from the magazine's New Jersey distribution center to the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island.

A dumptruck unloads copies of <I>Time</I>'s recent Earth Day issue (below) at a Staten Island landfill.

The discarded copies of the issue–which features articles about conservation, biodiversity, and recycling, as well as guest editorials by President Clinton and Leonardo DiCaprio–are expected to decompose slowly over the next 175 years.

"Unfortunately, 'Earth Day 2000' wasn't as successful as we had hoped," Time managing editor Walter Isaacson said. "After selling out of such special issues as 'The Future Of Medicine,' 'Baseball At 100,' 'The Kennedys: An American Dynasty,' and 'Celebrating The American Automobile,' we thought we had another winner with this one. But of a press run of 485,000, only 35,000 sold. I guess we overestimated the demand for a full-color, 98-page Earth Day issue printed on glossy, high-pulp paper."

Time: How To Save The Earth

The enormous number of unsold copies created major headaches for both Time's distribution department and subcontractor Interstate Periodical Distributors. Some 1,300 semi trucks, many less than a third full due to isolated pick-up points, were needed to transport the 450,000 magazines from newsstands and bookstores across the U.S. to Time's main warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ. From there, the magazines were loaded onto 85 idling dumptrucks by gasoline-powered forklifts. Upon arriving at Fresh Kills, the world's largest landfill, the unsold issues were transformed into a 75-ton mountain of waste paper by a fleet of diesel bulldozers.

"Originally, our intent was to recycle any unsold copies of the issue after the subscription cards were taken out, the cover separated from the contents, the polystyrene-based glue baked off the binding, and the color photo sections separated from the print pages," Time director of operations Christine Alarie said. "But unfortunately, with the unexpectedly large number of issues we were dealing with, it just wasn't feasible."

A discarded copy of the Earth Day issue sits in an office garbage can in St. Joseph, MO.

The three-acre section of Fresh Kills now made up entirely of Earth Day issues will slowly leak pollutants from the magazine's bleach, inks, and color-photo dye-sublimation chemicals into the soil. Isaacson stressed, however, that the threat of such contaminants pales in comparison to the dangers posed by disposable diapers, fast-food cartons, six-pack holders and, discarded batteries–environmentally hazardous consumer goods the Earth Day issue spoke out against and will eventually be covered by in the landfill.

"The American consumer had a choice to make: buy Time's Earth Day issue and dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner, or ignore its message by leaving it on the shelf," Isaacson said. "They made the choice to waste not only Time Warner's non-renewable resources, but the Earth's, as well."

"As we said in the issue," Isaacson said, "people have no one to blame but themselves."