Two articles on the relationship between rubbish and commodites were published in the December issue of Theory, Culture & Society.

“On Rubbish”
Wang Min’an
Theory, Culture & Society December 2011 vol. 28 no. 7-8 340-353
This article deals with the relationship between garbage and city, with special emphasis on the relationship between garbage and the modern commodity. With regard to the latter, the same material thing takes the form of commodity and garbage successively in its lifetime. Garbage is the corpse of commodity, so the number of commodities decides the quantity of garbage. A different relation of commodity to waste has existed in the countryside in China, where the circulation of waste products enters into a different relationship with the production of material life. By contrast, the modern city is a machine that treats garbage: on the one hand, it carries the commodity continually from the external space of the city to the inner space of the city, and on the other hand, it transports garbage from the inner space of the city to the external space of the city. The city forms its distinctive structure through the processing of garbage.

“Rubbish as a Consequence of the Ever More Refined Industrialization.”
Huimin Jin
Theory, Culture & Society December 2011 vol. 28 no. 7-8 354-357
This article argues that neither the city nor the commodity is ultimately responsible for rubbish, but rather industrialization: rubbish is a consequence, an evil effect, of industrialization, which aims to produce anything but nature, which is considered rough and tough, and therefore needs to be refined out.