The Dirt

Discard Studies is an interdisciplinary 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 May 2023.

Special Note: Discard Studies offers a public Zotero library of references collected from The Dirt.

The Zotero library is updated with the publication of each new edition of The Dirt and can be found on the Resources page.

Anyone can access the Zotero library, whether or not they use Zotero software. For those not already familiar with Zotero, it is a free and open-source software. More about Zotero here.

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. According to the Summers Gender Balance Assessment Tool, the bibliography for The Dirt in May 2023 is approximately 28.15% Women, 59.04% Men, and 12.81% Unknown.

  • Al-Hamaiedeh, Husam, Enam Al-Rafiaha, Omar Al-Khashman, Osama Mohawesh, and Ali El Hanandeh. “Evaluating the In-Site Sorting of Solid Waste in Selected Educational Institutions – A Pilot Study.” Journal of Ecological Engineering 24, no. 5 (May 2023): 137–43.
  • Alava, Juan José, Annika Jahnke, Melanie Bergmann, Gabriela V. Aguirre-Martínez, Leah Bendell, Paola Calle, Gustavo A. Domínguez, et al. “A Call to Include Plastics in the Global Environment in the Class of Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT) Pollutants.” Environmental Science & Technology (May 22, 2023).
  • Alfred Wegener Institute. “Arctic Ice Algae Heavily Contaminated with Microplastics, Reports New Research.”, April 21, 2023.
  • Ayankunle, Ayankoya Yemi, Natalja Buhhalko, Karin Pachel, Erki Lember, Vallo Kõrgmaa, Arun Mishra, and Kati Lind. “Estimating Microplastics Related to Laundry Wash and Personal Care Products Released to Wastewater in Major Estonian Cities: A Comparison of Calculated and Measured Microplastics.” Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering 21, no. 1 (June 1, 2023): 225–37.
  • Bergmann, Melanie, Bethanie Carney Almroth, Susanne M. Brander, Tridibesh Dey, Dannielle S. Green, Sedat Gundogdu, Anja Krieger, Martin Wagner, and Tony R. Walker. “A Global Plastic Treaty Must Cap Production.” Science 376, no. 6592 (April 29, 2022): 469–70.
  • Bergmann, Melanie, Steve Allen, Thomas Krumpen, and Deonie Allen. “High Levels of Microplastics in the Arctic Sea Ice Alga Melosira Arctica, a Vector to Ice-Associated and Benthic Food Webs.” Environmental Science & Technology 57, no. 17 (May 2, 2023): 6799–6807.
  • Bhardwaj, Ankit. “The Soils of Black Folk: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Theories of Environmental Racialization.” Sociological Theory 41, no. 2 (June 1, 2023): 105–28.
  • Bondt, Herre de, Mandy de Wilde, and Rivke Jaffe. “Rats Claiming Rights? More-than-Human Acts of Denizenship in Amsterdam.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 1-15 (May 25, 2023).
  • Burke, Gary T., Omid Omidvar, Agnessa Spanellis, and Igor Pyrko. “Making Space for Garbage Cans: How Emergent Groups Organize Social Media Spaces to Orchestrate Widescale Helping in a Crisis.” Organization Studies 44, no. 4 (April 1, 2023): 569–92.
  • Cruz Moscarelli, Fernanda da. “Using Placemaking Methodologies to Transform Degraded Public Spaces into Places.” Space and Culture 26, no. 1 (February 1, 2023): 39–56.
  • Dey, Tridibesh, Leonardo Trasande, Rebecca Altman, Zhanyun Wang, Anja Krieger, Melanie Bergmann, Deonie Allen, et al. “Global Plastic Treaty Should Address Chemicals.” Science 378, no. 6622 (November 25, 2022): 841–42.
  • Diggle, Avalon, Tony R. Walker, and Michelle Adams. “Examining Potential Business Impacts from the Implementation of an Extended Producer Responsibility Program for Printed Paper and Packaging Waste in Nova Scotia, Canada.” Circular Economy 2, no. 2 (June 1, 2023): 100039.
  • Dioses-Salinas, Diana Carolina, Carlos Ivan Pizarro-Ortega, Melisa D. Fernández Severini, Ana D. Forero López, Germán Prieto, Sina Dobaradaran, Gunasekaran Kannan, and Gabriel Enrique De-la-Torre. “Face Mask Exposure to Environmental Conditions: In Situ Physical and Chemical Degradation and Interaction with Marine Organisms.” Regional Studies in Marine Science 62 (September 1, 2023).
  • Ellisa, Evawani, Estu Putri Wilujeng, Hanifa Fijriah Wasnadi, Raphaella Dewantari Dwianto, Jenni Anggita, Nurrul Helen, Erina Asyera, and Putri Ayu Iramaya. “Community Appropriation of Communal Sanitation.” Indonesia and the Malay World 51, no. 149 (January 2, 2023): 1–26.
  • France, Robert L., and Brandon Heung. “Density Variability of COVID-19 Face Mask Litter: A Cautionary Tale for Pandemic PPE Waste Monitoring.” Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances 9 (February 1, 2023).
  • Gama, Ana Maria Cardoso de Freitas, José Fernando Thomé Jucá, and Alessandra Barbosa Lee Firmo. “Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Scenarios in the Solid Waste Sector for Compliance with the Brazilian NDC: Case Study of the Recife Metropolitan Area, Brazil.” Waste Management & Research (May 3, 2023).
  • Gómez-Maldonado, Alejandra, Laura Catalina Ospina-Espita, Paul Rodríguez-Lesmes, and Mayra Alejandra Rodríguez-Rodriguez. “Barriers and Opportunities for Waste Pickers within Solid Waste Management Policy in Colombia.” Waste Management 163 (May 15, 2023): 1–11.
  • Gour, Anunay A., and S. K. Singh. “Solid Waste Management in India: A State-of-the-Art Review.” Environmental Engineering Research 28, no. 4 (August 2023): 1–18.
  • Gundogdu, Sedat. “Turkey’s Poor Earthquake Waste Management.” Science 380, no. 6643 (April 28, 2023): 353–353.
  • Hesse, Arielle, Patrick Bresnihan, and James White. “The Data Treadmill: Water Governance and the Politics of Pollution in Rural Ireland.” Local Environment 28, no. 5 (May 4, 2023): 602–18.
  • Ho, David T. “Carbon Dioxide Removal Is Not a Current Climate Solution — We Need to Change the Narrative.” Nature 616, no. 7955 (April 4, 2023): 9–9.
  • Huang, Shu-Mei, and Lijin Yao. “Right to Toilets? Infra-Bio-Urbanism over Human Waste, Memories, and Housing Inequality.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space (May 22, 2023).
  • Hwang, Jackelyn, Nima Dahir, Mayuka Sarukkai, and Gabby Wright. “Curating Training Data for Reliable Large-Scale Visual Data Analysis: Lessons from Identifying Trash in Street View Imagery.” Sociological Methods & Research (May 15, 2023).
  • Ibáñez Martín, Rebeca, and Fenna Smits. “The Material Politics of Living in Close Proximity to Our Wastewaters: A Case of Decentralisation in the Netherlands.” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space (October 17, 2022).
  • Ilechukwu, Ifenna, Ben Enoluomen Ehigiator, Inemesit Okon Ben, Chinedu Joseph Okonkwo, Oluwakemi S. Olorunfemi, Uchechukwu Emmanuel Modo, Chibuamam Ezinwanneamaka Ilechukwu, and Ngozika Juliet Ohagwa. “Chronic Toxic Effects of Polystyrene Microplastics on Reproductive Parameters of Male Rats.” Environmental Analysis, Health and Toxicology 37, no. 2 (June 15, 2022).
  • Khan, Syed Abdul Rehman, Muhammad Tabish, and Zhang Yu. “Mapping and Visualizing of Research Output on Waste Management and Green Technology: A Bibliometric Review of Literature.” Waste Management & Research, April 13, 2023.
  • Kiessling, Tim, Mandy Hinzmann, Linda Mederake, Sinja Dittmann, Dennis Brennecke, Marianne Böhm-Beck, Katrin Knickmeier, and Martin Thiel. “What Potential Does the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive Have for Reducing Plastic Pollution at Coastlines and Riversides? An Evaluation Based on Citizen Science Data.” Waste Management 164 (June 1, 2023): 106–18.
  • Lampkin, Jack A, and Tanya Wyatt. “An Astro-Green Criminological Examination of Orbital Space Debris.” Criminology & Criminal Justice (April 20, 2023).
  • Liboiron, Max, Rui Liu, Elise Earles, and Imari Walker-Franklin. “Models of Justice Evoked in Published Scientific Studies of Plastic Pollution.” FACETS 8 (January 2023): 1–34.
  • Lihua, Chang, and Tang Zhiyin. “Microplastics Aggravates Rheumatoid Arthritis by Affecting the Proliferation/Migration/Inflammation of Fibroblast-like Synovial Cells by Regulating Mitochondrial Homeostasis.” International Immunopharmacology 120 (July 1, 2023).
  • Limor-Sagiv, Galia, and Nurit Lissovsky. “The Trash Has Gone – the Trash Mountain Remains: A New Look at the International Design Competition for the Rehabilitation of the Hiriya Landfill in Israel.” Landscape Research 48, no. 3 (April 3, 2023): 354–74.
  • López-Linares, Juan C., Mónica Coca, Pedro E. Plaza, Susana Lucas, and María Teresa García-Cubero. “Waste-to-Fuel Technologies for the Bioconversion of Carrot Discards into Biobutanol.” Renewable Energy 202 (January 1, 2023): 362–69.
  • Lu, Qinwei, Yi Zhou, Qian Sui, and Yanbo Zhou. “Mechanism and Characterization of Microplastic Aging Process: A Review.” Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering 17, no. 8 (August 2023): 1–19.
  • Luxardo, Natalia, Fernando Sassetti, Leila Martina Passerino, Eugenia Wright, Javier Billordo, Marcel Kolvenbach, and Julio César Bello. “Volcano: Between Structural Vulnerabilities and Collective Defence of Honor in Communities Surrounding an Open Dumpsite.” Qualitative Health Research 32, no. 11 (September 1, 2022): 1701–20.
  • Maalouf, Amani, and Pariatamby Agamuthu. “Waste Management Evolution in the Last Five Decades in Developing Countries – A Review.” Waste Management & Research (April 26, 2023).
  • McConnell, Tatum. “Recycling Plastics ‘Extremely Problematic’ Due to Toxic Chemical Additives: Report.” Environmental Health News (June 1, 2023).
  • McDaid, Sarah, and Heriot-Watt University. “Fresh Air and Cold Plasma Could Break down Hospital PPE Waste.” (April 24, 2023).
  • Merewether, Jane, Mindy Blaise, Katie Pitchford, and Stefania Giamminuti. “Unsettling ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’: The Provocation of Wastepaper and ‘Discarding Well.’” The Journal of Environmental Education 54, no. 3 (May 4, 2023): 199–212.
  • Millanzi, Walter C., Patricia D. Herman, and Samweli A. Mtangi. “Knowledge, Attitude, and Perceived Practice of Sanitary Workers on Healthcare Waste Management: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study in Dodoma Region, Tanzania.” SAGE Open Medicine, (May 19, 2023).
  • Mirchandani, Kiran, and Sanjukta Mukherjee. “Gendering the Intimate Labour of Toilet Cleaning in India’s High-Tech Sector.” Gender, Place & Culture 30, no. 5 (May 4, 2023): 657–75.
  • Mitra, Anant, Abishek S Narayan, and Christoph Lüthi. “Sanitation Potpourri: Criteria for Planning Mix of Sanitation Systems for Citywide Inclusive Sanitation.” Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science 49, no. 8 (October 1, 2022): 2195–2215.
  • Montevecchi, William A. “Chapter 3 – Interactions between Fisheries and Seabirds: Prey Modification, Discards, and Bycatch.” In Conservation of Marine Birds, edited by Lindsay Young and Eric VanderWerf, 57–95. Academic Press, 2023.
  • Morrison, Judith A., Danielle Malone, and Sara Sorensen Petersen. “Trash Is a Problem! Building Students’ Connection to Their School Community.” Journal of Special Education Technology (March 20, 2023).
  • Neto, José Antônio Baptista, Christine C.  Gaylarde, Diego G.  de Carvalho, Marcos F. P.  Lourenço, and Estefan M.  da Fonseca. “Occurrence of Microplastics Derived from Tyres in Bottom Sediments of Guanabara Bay, Brazil: A Form of Pollution That Is Neglected or Difficult to Detect?” Occurrence of Microplastics Derived from Tyres in Bottom Sediments of Guanabara Bay, Brazil: A Form of Pollution That Is Neglected or Difficult to Detect? 2, no. 2 (2023): 10.
  • Oğuz, Abdulhalık, and Ömer Faruk Ertuğrul. “Determining the Fullness of Garbage Containers by Deep Learning.” Expert Systems with Applications 217 (May 1, 2023).
  • Oliskevych, Myroslav, and Victor Danchuk. “An Algorithm for Garbage Truck Routing in Cities with a Fixation on Container Filling Level.” Transport Problems: An International Scientific Journal 18, no. 1 (January 2023): 75–87.
  • Ozturkcan, Selcen. “The Right-to-Repair Movement: Sustainability and Consumer Rights.” Journal of Information Technology Teaching Cases (May 19, 2023).
  • Parker-Jurd, Florence N. F., Natalie S. Smith, Liam Gibson, Sohvi Nuojua, and Richard C. Thompson. “Evaluating the Performance of the ‘Seabin’ – A Fixed Point Mechanical Litter Removal Device for Sheltered Waters.” Marine Pollution Bulletin 184 (November 1, 2022).
  • Pencik, Ondrej, Michaela Durdakova, Katarina Molnarova, Attila Kucsera, Daniel Klofac, Martina Kolackova, Vojtech Adam, and Dalibor Huska. “Microplastics and Nanoplastics Toxicity Assays: A Revision towards to Environmental-Relevance in Water Environment.” Journal of Hazardous Materials 454 (July 15, 2023): 131476.
  • Pérez Fernández, Federico. “The Archaeology of Decay: Ruinous Knowledge and the Violence of Urban Planning.” American Anthropologist.
  • Pollock, Susan. “The Violence of Collecting.” American Anthropologist 125, no. 2 (2023): 377–89.
  • Rambacher, Julia, Olga Pantos, Scott Hardwick, Elissa Z. Cameron, and Sally Gaw. “Transforming Encounters: A Review of the Drivers and Mechanisms of Macrofaunal Plastic Fragmentation in the Environment.” Cambridge Prisms: Plastics (May 19, 2023), 1–33.
  • Riebeling, Zachary. “Waste and Historicity in the Anthropocene.” Rethinking History 26, no. 3 (July 3, 2022): 319–39.
  • Rognerud, Idun, and Tony R. Walker. “Plastics Treaty Lockout Independent Scientists.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY (May 18, 2023).
  • Rosenfeld, Heather. “Deviant Accumulation at Farmed Animal Sanctuaries.” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space (April 17, 2023).
  • Ross, David, and H. James Law. “Evolution of Municipal Solid Waste Management in North America.” Waste Management & Research (May 29, 2023).
  • Rossi, Jairus. “Restored Ecosystems as Instructive Tactile Landscapes.” Social & Cultural Geography 24, no. 6 (July 3, 2023): 1042–62.
  • Sabilillah, A. M., F. R. Palupi, B. K. Adji, and A. P. Nugroho. “Health Risk Assessment and Microplastic Pollution in Streams through Accumulation and Interaction by Heavy Metals.” Global Journal of Environmental Science & Management (GJESM) 9, no. 4 (October 2023): 719–40.
  • Shepon, Alon, Gidon Eshel, Elad Noor, and Ron Milo. “The Opportunity Cost of Animal Based Diets Exceeds All Food Losses.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115, no. 15 (April 10, 2018): 3804–9.
  • Smits, Fenna, and Mandy de Wilde. “‘We Are Part of Nature’: Caring for Wastewater in an Infrastructural Experiment in the Flevopolder.” Ethnos (May 2, 2023): 1–21.
  • Villarrubia-Gómez, Patricia, Bethanie Carney Almroth, Kristian Syberg, Tridibesh Dey, Melanie Bergmann, Susanne M. Brander, Alicia Mateos Cardenas, et al. “Technology Cannot Fix This: To Stay within Planetary Boundaries, Plastic Growth Must Be Tackled.” Earth ArXiv (May 10, 2023).
  • Wagner, Martin, Susanne M. Brander, Bethanie Carney Almroth, Winnie Courtene-Jones, Marina Fernandez, Ksenia Groh, Sedat Gündoğdu, Nanna B. Hartmann, and Judith Weis. Scientists’ Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty: “Policy Brief: Role of Chemicals and Polymers of Concern in the Global Plastics Treaty.” Zenodo (May 16, 2023).
  • Walker, Tony R. “The Tropics Should Not Become the World’s Plastic Pollution Problem.” Journal of Tropical Futures (April 5, 2023).
  • Walker, Tony R. “What Not to Do with Dog Poop.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY (May 30, 2023).
  • Walker, Tony R., Lei Wang, Alice Horton, and Elvis Genbo Xu. “Micro(Nano)Plastic Toxicity and Health Effects: Special Issue Guest Editorial.” Environment International 170 (December 1, 2022).
  • Yadav, Agata, Marianne Kylberg, Marianne Granbom, Agneta Malmgren Fänge, and Susanne Iwarsson. “Support Needs Among Older Tenants Living in Public Housing in Sweden: Perspectives of Janitors and Maintenance Staff.” Journal of Applied Gerontology (April 25, 2023).
  • Yang, Tao, Yingxu Zeng, Zixin Kang, Minggang Cai, Kai Chen, Qian Zhao, Jianhui Lin, Ruina Liu, and Gongdi Xu. “Enrichment and Ecological Risks of Microplastics in Mangroves of Southern Hainan Island, China.” Science of The Total Environment 889 (September 1, 2023).
  • Yin, Lingshi, Li Du, Xiaofeng Wen, Danlian Huang, Ruihao Xiao, Zeyu Wang, Hongyu Su, et al. “Occurrence and Effects of Microplastics in Lake Ecosystems: Particular Focus on Migration in Water and Food Chains.” Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 261, no. 1 (May 23, 2023): 11.
  • Yirka, Bob. “Recycling Plastics Might Be Making Things Worse.” (May 8, 2023).
  • Yousefi, Yasaman, Parichehr Hanachi, Morasae Samadi, and Mehdi Khoshnamvand. “Heavy Metals (Copper and Iron) and Nutrients (Nitrate and Phosphate) Removal from Aqueous Medium by Microalgae Chlorella Vulgaris and Scendesmus Obliquus, and Their Biofilms.” Marine Environmental Research 188 (June 1, 2023): 105989.
  • Yrneh Zarit Ulloa-Torrealba, Andreas Schmitt, Michael Wurm, and Hannes Taubenböck. “Litter on the Streets – Solid Waste Detection Using VHR Images.” European Journal of Remote Sensing 56, no. 1 (December 1, 2023).
  • Zafar, Sameen, and Mohammad Armughan. “Assessing Consumers’ Awareness, Disposal, and Participation Toward Electronic Waste in a Developing Economy: Evidence From Pakistan.” Journal of Asian and African Studies (May 17, 2023).

Special Editions



Recent Discard Studies Posts

New Patrons

Discard Studies is funded, in part, by the generous patronage of our readers, via Patreon. New patrons include:

  • Aoife Mac Namara. Thank you!
  • Manisha Anantharaman. Thank you!
  • Shosha Capps. Thank you!
  • MYGray. Thank you!
  • Lily Baum Pollans. Thank you!

If you have an item to add to The Dirt, please contact If you’d like to pitch us a post, we’d love to learn more about your idea; you can find our guidelines through this link.

Support Discard Studies by becoming a Patreon subscriber.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter