In 2015, tractor manufacturer John Deere made waves for sending its dealers a letter asserting that when farmers repaired their own John Deere equipment, what they were really doing was violating US copyright law. At the time, this came as news to a lot of farmers: as a characteristically self-sufficient community, they’d always repaired their equipment on their own. How did putting a computer on a tractor change this?
Agbogbloshie is a part of an emergent globalised scrap economy that links peripheral markets to global metal flows. In this post, Dagna Rams argues for the need to pay closer attention to the flow of recuperated metals out of Agbogbloshie.
Discard studies spoke with three leading waste researchers about the biggest myths of the circular economy.
Discard Studies interviews writer Adam Minter, author of ‘Junkyard Planet’ and journalist for Bloomberg about his next book, ‘Secondhand’
The US ‘tech sector’ has been a major source of toxicant releases. These interactive maps show the chemical legacy of electronic manufacturing in the US.
This review of a special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology titled, “Exploring the Circular Economy” is a virtual tour of circular economy definitions and current directions. The authors discuss and derive new definitions of “circularity.” They cover fundamental determinants of material lifespan, such as economic demand, thermodynamics, product design, and durability.
In an economic sense, it is usually municipal and state governments that account for the cost of damage waste causes to local environments when deciding how to deal with waste, but this cost is not already part of the price of goods or services that produce waste. Economists define this problem as a negative externality.
Why is recycling low on the waste hierarchy?
Remember, this is not waste that was dumped directly by human hands. It was washed here on ocean currents, meaning that this is not just about one beach – it shows how much the pollution problem has grown in the entire ocean system in little more than two decades.
If I could only recommend one text in discard studies, it would be Recycling Reconsidered by Samantha MacBride (2011, MIT Press).