What goes into the landfill of the dead?


I was riveted by my first-ever start-to-finish viewing of Soylent Green today, and intrigued to find the name of Professor Frank R. Bowerman listed as the film's technical advisor.

The most recent glimpse of Prof. Bowerman I can find is a May, 1995 listing as an adjunct professor at University of Southern California's department of environmental engineering.

But the professor has a more true and enduring legacy in Irvine, CA's Frank R. Bowerman Landfill, a nest of violations and cease and desist orders over methane, erosion, and drainage control troubles.

I hope the professor lived into the era when people stopped laughing at the wildly inaccurate future guestimate in Soylent Green and began to appreciate the great artistry in which the entire cast and crew wrap the movie's now-universally known premise. Prof. Frank Bowerman, I suspect, was crucial to the achievement of one of America's great apocalyptic visions, so bow your head next time you throw out a bag of condoms and diapers.

And of course, if there are any landfill employees, USC students or alumni, environmental engineering buffs, or other Bowermaniacs out there, please share your memories in the comments book before you leave the service.