The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community that develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab aims to create a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

Public Lab publishes a magazine on “cutting edge techniques in hacking environmental science” called the Grassroots Mapping Forum, and the newest edition is on waste. One of the interesting things about discard studies is that our object of study is both ubiquitous and invisible. We can see a tip of an iceberg, whether you study the practices, infrastructures, social norms, or garbage itself. This requires some inventive methods, from “mapping controversies” to trawling for ocean plastics. Public Lab and the Grassroots Mapping Forum are part of inventing waste methodologies that are accessible, inexpensive, and democratic: the premises of citizen science.

The Forum edition on waste includes the following articles:

You can download a PDF of the Grassroots Mapping Forum on waste here, or order a hardcopy here.

grasroots forum waste