Category Archives: Methods

Municipal versus Industrial Waste: Questioning the 3-97 ratio

We do not have an idea of the quantity of non-household solid waste produced in North America. When we do have ideas of (sub)quantities, we do not have good classifications, so we do not know what we are quantifying.

How to do a household waste audit–and why

A waste audit is an analysis of a localized waste stream from your building, household, classroom, town or business. It can identify what types of waste that local generates, and how much. How do you conduct an audit? What can you learn from one?

Trading on distortion

The lead researcher on a seminal work mapping the international traffic of e-waste responds to criticism of his research on material flows.

Building DIY citizen science technology to see invisible marine plastics

We’ve been working on the problem of making tiny, often invisible marine plastics visible through do-it-yourself (DIY) technologies. You can build your own and investigate your local environment.

Article Alert! Attuning to the Chemosphere: Domestic Formaldehyde, Bodily Reasoning, and the Chemical Sublime

“”During the first hour spent in houses with suspected indoor air-quality issues, I would slowly develop an ache in the back of my eyes, which would with time spread throughout my skull. I repeatedly found myself struggling to resist a physical desire to expedite interviews as my mind felt increasingly woolly, my focus slipped, and my lines of inquiry lost their direction.”

Designing for the Future at Giant Mine

How do you communicate permanent pollution and toxicity to future generations? We held workshops with community members in Yellowknife and Dettah to make models about they would communicate the dangers of buried arsenic at the local Giant Mine into the future.

Plastic Smog and Horizontal Smoke Stacks: Representations of Pollution as Knowledge

Representations are the basis of human knowledge both in terms of how knowledge is made as well as how it is reproduced and circulated. They are the way reality is interpreted and conveyed for others. Our discussions about how to best convey what we’ve been researching have focused on being as clear, charismatic, and accurate as possible. We don’t want to give up accuracy to be more sensational. But we don’t want to make accurate statements that fall flat. Our goal is to do and describe science in a way that launches action that mitigates plastic pollution. How you describe a problem determines what kind of solutions make sense or not.

Wasted Heat as Northern Commons: Hot Spots in the Square

Our project aims to unveil the potential for the Commons within the outdoor urban infrastructure of Churchill Square in St. John’s, Newfoundland, by locating heat leaks from wasted heat. We wanted to find out which areas in the Square provided a bit of warmth during the long, cold winter to imagine the possibility of public congregation or reclaimed community space.

Sizing Up ‘Slow Violence’

If a key challenge of slow violence is how to adequately represent it so that it may be investigated, opposed, and redressed why represent its power as more formidable than it already is? There is poetry in the law, but legal personhood for corporations is not magic. It’s infrastructure.

A Methodology for Investigating Cityness through Waste

How do you study cityness through waste? Cityness has been used to describe both “how urban citizens give meaning to the city they live in and how this creation of meaning alters the way the city is represented” and as “an instrument to capture something that otherwise might easily get lost: types of urbanity that are non-Western.”