Tag Archives: Environment

Chennai Waste, Part 3: Perungudi: A fortress of trash

For Sendhil, it’s all about keeping the trucks coming in at the right time, at the right pace. “If work stops here, then they’ll be a line of trucks waiting, people’s trash won’t get picked up. So, we just have to make sure everything keeps going.” Thus, he’s not concerned about segregation, or recycling. What he needs are good roads, infrastructure, he says. Only with that can they keep pushing the trash away from the houses, and prevent “incidents” like the small fires that break out on occasion.

The Plastisphere and other 21st century waste ecosystems

By Max Liboiron. You’ve probably heard of “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” or “The Gyre,” or other names given to the phenomenon of ocean plastics. You may have asked yourself why we just don’t clean it all up with a giant sea-vacuum. You may have even seen inventions meant to do just that. But perhaps […]
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Call for NCPH Roundtable Participants: Innovative Reuse in the Post-Industrial City

We are currently seeking 3-4 participants for our roundtable titled “Innovative Reuse in the Post-Industrial City” at the NCPH Annual Meeting in Monterrey, CA, March 19-22, 2014. Participants should have either worked on or currently working on historic preservation projects on less charismatic structures such as industrial buildings and abandoned infrastructures in urban areas. Discussion […]
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Ocean Floor Trash: The Study

There’s an adage is discard studies that although we throw things “away,” there really is no such place. The ocean has been a convenient “away” for centuries, the idea being that the vast quantities of water can dilute anything, and its status as a last frontier makes it “ideal” for nuclear waste deposits and other waste. The ocean is […]
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‘Detritivore’ Design: How to Use Trash to Create Scalable Tech Solutions- Mathew Lippincott

Guest post by Mathew Lippincott. Originally posted on Mediashift’s Idea Lab. Detritivores are creatures that consume decaying matter. Detritivore designs use abundant waste products to make scalable technology solutions. Unlike loftier concepts of zero-waste design such as Cradle to Cradle, Detritivore design accepts that the world is already loaded with discarded and broken technology. Detritivore designers need […]
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Shifting the Burden of Recycling: Yale Journal Explores the State of Extended Producer Responsibility

Via Reid Lifset, editor of Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE): Over the past two decades governments around the world have been experimenting with a new strategy for managing waste.  By making producers responsible for their products when they become wastes, policy makers seek to significantly increase the recycling­-and recyclability­-of computers, packaging, automobiles, and household hazardous […]
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Article Alert- Dispossession by Accumulation

Antipode has published Tom Perreault’s “Dispossession by Accumulation? Mining, Water and the Nature of Enclosure on the Bolivian Altiplano.” The article is noteworthy not only because it discusses some of the objects of discard studies–namely, pollution– but also because it figures industrial discards as a form of accumulation. The accumulation in question is capitalistic primitive accumulation […]
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Trash is a Wicked Problem

By Max Liboiron One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Waste is inherently ambivalent. It is both worthless and the basis for a billion dollar, recession-proof industry, complete with cartels and multinational companies. Disgust with filth both reaffirms our identities and troubles us. But a plethora of contradictory terms and values is not what makes […]
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Recycling as a Crisis of Meaning

This article was originally published by Max Liboiron in eTOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Spring 2010. In laymen’s terms, recycling is “good for the environment.” It involves “doing your bit” to help “save the Earth.” Yet recycling requires high expenditures of energy and virgin materials, and produces pollutants, greenhouse gases and waste; it creates […]
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Article Alert: “Engaging with soil, past and present”

Discard Studies often deals with “dirt,” but we mainly focus its symbolic representations and rhetoric, rather than the soily stuff itself. I struggled to find articles about dirt, the stuff itself, for our bibliography. The Journal of Material Culture has come to the rescue with a new article by Roderick B Salisbury entitled “Engaging with […]
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