It's estimated the U.S. publishing and bookselling industry would actually SAVE MONEY in the neighborhood of BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year if its outdated system of trashing unsold books was to change:
Just because something's standard operating procedure doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, and doesn't mean people can't speak out to change it. Big publishers and book chains need to clean up their acts and reform the system that results in books being trashed.
Imagine the positive PR benefits for Borders if it was to take a stand against the waste, re-branding itself as a more responsible bookseller.
Environmentally conscious consumers and book lovers everywhere (and there are a lot of us out there) would reward the company with our book-buying dollars.