People tend to think that we are familiar with waste because we deal with it every day. Yet, this is not the case. Discard studies is central to thinking through and countering the initiative aspects of waste. As more popular, policy, activist, engineering and research attention is drawn to waste it becomes crucial for the humanities and social sciences to contextualize the problems, materialities and systems of waste that are not readily apparent to the invested but casual observer. Our task is to trouble the assumptions, premises and popular mythologies of waste so that work can go in a productive direction.