A telling discourse of hoarding emerged in the immediate aftermath of the storm from relief distribution hubs that collected and freely distributed food, clothing, and other material goods to those in need. In these cases, the concept of “hoarding” highlighted the differences–and politics–between equitable and equal distributions of goods.
Not only do natural (and unnatural) disasters produce a lot of waste, they are also extreme but oddly quintessential events where practices, behavior, and cultures around waste and wasting, as well as their inverse–repairing, fixing, rebuilding–move to the fore. In the weeks proceeding and following the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New York City and surrounding area, Discard Studies will feature a series of articles about the complexities of disaster and waste, broadly defined. This article looks at the material and emotional nature of waste during disaster.
By Zoltán Glück Originally published in Tidal on March 13, 2013 In the days and weeks following Hurricane Sandy the inequalities at the heart of New York City could scarcely be missed. While hundreds of thousands of public housing residents went without heat, hot water or electricity, Mayor Michael Bloomberg rushed to get the stock […]
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By Max Liboiron. As Samantha MacBride notes, modern waste–that is, postindustrial waste and particularly waste developed after 1945 when consumerism came into full swing in the United States– is synthetic, unpredictable, and heterogenous. Additionally, it has unique spatial and temporal characteristics compared to its predecessors. First, longevity: I’ve written elsewhere about the staggering longevity of plastics; […]
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