Waste interfaces: biodegradable waste, municipal policy and everyday practice

Bulkeley, Harriet and Askins, Kye (2009) Waste interfaces: biodegradable waste, municipal policy and everyday practice. Geographical Journal, 175 (4). pp. 251-260. ISSN 0016-7398

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4959.2008.00310.x


Recent years have seen a rapid rise in the political saliency of the ever growing volumes of municipal waste produced in the UK. In this paper, we examine how one particular part of the municipal waste stream – biodegradable waste – has come under the policy spotlight. As targets to divert biodegradable waste from landfill under the Landfill Directive come into force, the need to focus explicitly on recovering value from biodegradable materials has risen up national and local policy agendas, not least with the introduction of the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme. Accompanying this new rationality for managing waste has been a suite of different policy interventions. In this paper we examine the impact of the changing nature of municipal waste policy and the ways in which it has sought to rework the disposal and collection of biodegradable waste. We argue that the predominantly technical framing and instrumental rationality of these interventions does not sufficiently challenge entrenched understandings regarding the boundaries between public and private responsibility for waste, and thus short-circuits their capacity to engage with everyday community/individual waste practices. In conclusion, we suggest that, in order to move waste management towards sustainability, there is a need both to engage with the institutional and infrastructural dimensions of the systems of provision within which waste management occurs, and to take seriously the everyday contexts within which making waste is practiced.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2009 13:13
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 08:40
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/825

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