The Dirt

Discard Studies is a young field of research that takes systems of waste and wasting as its topic of study, including but beyond conventional notions of trash and garbage. To keep practitioners up-to-date, Discard Studies publishes The Dirt, a monthly compilation of recent publications, positions, opportunities, and calls for proposals in the field. Here is The Dirt for September 2021.

Recent Discard Studies Posts

Peer-reviewed articles & books

Note: If an article is behind a paywall, email the author. They are almost always authorized by copyright to distribute their own work.

We have begun posting the gender parity of The Dirt, especially given evidence that COVID-19 is increasing the skew in knowledge production to be ever more male, white, and childless. This bibliography is about 33.48% percent women-authored based on the Summers Gender Balance Assessment Tool.

  • Barrowclough, Diana, and Carolyn Deere Birkbeck. 2020. “Transforming the Global Plastics Economy: The Political Economy and Governance of Plastics Production and Pollution.” Working Paper 142. GEG Working Paper.
  • Benner, Chris, and Manuel Pastor. 2021. Solidarity Economics: Why Mutuality and Movements Matter. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Carolan, M.S. 2021. “What Is Driving Consumer Food Waste: Socio-Material Assemblages of Household Consumption Practices.” Appetite 166: 105478. Keywords: assemblage, consumer sovereignty, ethical consumption, mobility, posthuman, storage
  • Chaudhary, Pooja, Saryu Garg, Tess George, Muhammed Shabin, Sneha Saha, Subodh Subodh, and Baerbel Sinha. 2021. “Underreporting and Open Burning – the Two Largest Challenges for Sustainable Waste Management in India.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling 175 (December): 105865. Keywords: air pollution, emission inventory, municipal solid waste generation, open burning, waste composition
  • Corvellec, Hervé, Alison Stowell, and Nils Johansson. 2021. “Critiques de l’économie Circulaire: Cet Article Passe En Revue Les Critiques Faites à l’économie Circulaire et Aux Modèles d’affaires Circulaires Dans Près de 100 Publications Scientifiques.,” August.
  • Gutierrez, Grant M., Dana E. Powell, and T. L. Pendergrast. 2021. “The Double Force of Vulnerability: Ethnography and Environmental Justice.” Environment and Society 12 (1): 66–86.
  • Guttman, Dan, Yijia Jing, and Oran R. Young, eds. 2021. Non-State Actors in China and Global Environmental Governance. Governing China in the 21st Century. Singapore: Springer Singapore.
  • Hartley, Kris, Jasper Roosendaal, and Julian Kirchherr. n.d. “Barriers to the Circular Economy: The Case of the Dutch Technical and Interior Textiles Industries.” Journal of Industrial Ecology n/a (n/a). Accessed September 25, 2021. Keywords: circular economy, industrial ecology, Netherlands, public policy, sustainability, textiles
  • Holmberg, Daniela. 2021. “A Bloody Waste | Embodied Perspectives on Menstrual Materials, Waste and Responsibility among Swedish Menstruators.” Bachelor Thesis, University of Gothenburg.
  • Hunter, Hannah, and Elizabeth Nelson. 2021. “Out of Place in Outer Space?: Exploring Orbital Debris through Geographical Imaginations.” Environment and Society 12 (1): 227–45.
  • Isobe, Atsuhiko, Takafumi Azuma, Muhammad Reza Cordova, Andrés Cózar, Francois Galgani, Ryuichi Hagita, La Daana Kanhai, et al. 2021. “A Multilevel Dataset of Microplastic Abundance in the World’s Upper Ocean and the Laurentian Great Lakes.” Microplastics and Nanoplastics 1 (1): 16.
  • Kidder Hodges, Benjamin. 2021. “Atmospheric Visions: Mirages, Methane Seeps and ‘Clam-Monsters’ in the Yellow Sea.” Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures, September.
  • Kiessling, Brittany, and Keely Maxwell. 2021. “Conceptualizing and Capturing Outcomes of Environmental Cleanup at Contaminated Sites:” Environment and Society 12 (1): 164–80.
  • Kravitz, Ben, and Tina Sikka. n.d. “Conducting More Inclusive Solar Geoengineering Research: A Feminist Science Framework,” 30.
  • Krebs, Stefan, and Heike Weber, eds. 2021. The Persistence of Technology – Histories of Repair, Reuse and Disposal. transcript. Keywords: discard, disposal, maintenance and repair, waste
  • Lavers, Jennifer L., Ian Hutton, and Alexander L. Bond. 2021. “Temporal Trends and Interannual Variation in Plastic Ingestion by Flesh-Footed Shearwaters (Ardenna Carneipes) Using Different Sampling Strategies.” Environmental Pollution 290 (December): 118086. Keywords: body condition, long-term trends, marine debris, monitoring program, Tasman Sea
  • Little, Peter C. 2022. Burning Matters: Life, Labor, and E-Waste Pyropolitics in Ghana. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • McKay, Micah. 2021. “On the Nature of the Border: Trash Thresholds in Luis Alberto Urrea’s By the Lake of Sleeping Children.” Latin American Literary Review 48 (96).
  • Montgomery, Alesia. 2020. Greening the Black Urban Regime: The Culture and Commerce of Sustainability in Detroit. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.
  • Morgan, Alli. 2021. “Military Waste: The Unexpected Consequences of Permanent War Readiness by Joshua O. Reno (Review).” Anthropological Quarterly 94 (1): 169–73.
  • Packer, Melina. 2021. “Chemical Agents: The Biopolitical Science of Toxicity.” Environment and Society 12 (1): 25–43.
  • Parizeau, Kate, Mike von Massow, and Ralph C. Martin. 2021. “Directly Observing Household Food Waste Generation Using Composition Audits in a Canadian Municipality.” Waste Management 135 (November): 229–33. Keywords: avoidable food waste, Canada, compositional audits, household food waste, observational data, variability
  • Pell, Robert, Laurens Tijsseling, Kathryn Goodenough, Frances Wall, Quentin Dehaine, Alex Grant, David Deak, Xiaoyu Yan, and Phoebe Whattoff. 2021. “Towards Sustainable Extraction of Technology Materials through Integrated Approaches.” Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, September, 1–15.
  • Renfrew, Daniel, and Thomas W. Pearson. 2021. “The Social Life of the ‘Forever Chemical’: PFAS Pollution Legacies and Toxic Events.” Environment and Society 12 (1): 146–63.
  • Rist, Sinja, Nanna B. Hartmann, and Natalie Welden. 2021. “How Fast, How Far: Diversification and Adoption of Novel Methods in Aquatic Microplastic Monitoring.” Environmental Pollution, September, 118174. Keywords: characterisation, extraction, method development, microplastics, monitoring
  • Romero, Adam M. 2022. Economic Poisoning: Industrial Waste and the Chemicalization of American Agriculture. Univ of California Press.
  • Scobie, M. 2021. “Treaty Preambles and The Environmental Justice Gap.” Global Policy 12 (3): 273–85.
  • Shaw, Stephanie, Cara Libby, Morgan Scott, Lisa Nelowet Grice, Noor Shaikh, Chris Peterson, and Kenneth Ladwig. 2021. “The Global Circular Economy for the Electric Power Industry and Opportunities for Solar Photovoltaics.” In 2021 IEEE 48th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), 1594–99. Keywords: conferences, economics, electric power industry, global circular economy, industries, photovoltaic systems, production, PV modules, renewable energy sources, solar PV
  • Teddiman, Rebecca. 2021. “Snapshot Picture of Microplastic Pollution in Halifax Regional Municipality.” Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science (NSIS) 51 (1): 195.
  • Theriault, Noah, and Simi Kang. 2021. “Toxic Research: Political Ecologies and the Matter of Damage.” Environment and Society 12 (1): 5–24.
  • Therrien, Aude, Élise Lépy, Jean-Sébastien Boutet, Karen Bouchard, and Arn Keeling. 2021. “Place-Based Education and Extractive Industries: Lessons from Post-Graduate Courses in Canada and Fennoscandia.” The Extractive Industries and Society, September, 100989. Keywords: Arctic, mining, place-based education, resource communities
  • Tovar, Luisa Fernanda. 2021. “Waste Valorisation: Between the Private Interest and the Social Benefit.” Bogota: Universidad Nacional de Columbia.
  • Tran, Trang, Hiromasa Goto, and Takuma Matsuda. 2021. The Impact of China’s Tightening Environmental Regulations on International Waste Trade and Logistics. Sustainability 13, 987. Keywords: waste plastic, used paper, import ban, import license, international waste trade
  • Vargas, María Soledad Castro, and Diana Barquero Pérez. 2021. “Triggering the Apparitions: Spectres of Chemical Seascapes.” In Imagining Apocalyptic Politics in the Anthropocene, edited by Earl T. Harper and Doug Specht. Routledge.
  • Vogt, B.D., K.K. Stokes, and S.K. Kumar. 2021. “Why Is Recycling of Postconsumer Plastics so Challenging?” ACS Applied Polymer Materials. Keywords: circular polymers, plastic waste, recycling, reprocessing, sustainability
  • Voyles, Traci Brynne. 2021. The Settler Sea: California’s Salton Sea and the Consequences of Colonialism. U of Nebraska Press.
  • Vries, Alex de, and Christian Stoll. 2021. “Bitcoin’s Growing e-Waste Problem.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling 175 (December): 105901. Keywords: Bitcoin, electronic waste, proof of work, semiconductor supply chain, sustainability
  • Zhang, Amy. 2021. “From Immunity to Collaboration: Microbes, Waste, and Antitoxic Politics.” Current Anthropology, September, S000–S000.


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