Modern Waste is an Economic Strategy de Max Liboiron

trash_mountain_by_kuschelmieze1Modern waste is fundamentally different from its predecessors. From the turn of the twentieth century and into the 1950s, first in the United States, then elsewhere, waste began to increase in tonnage, gain in toxicity, and become more heterogeneous (MacBride 2012: 174). It also started to play a pivotal role as an industrial strategy for growth and profit. About ninety-seven percent of waste produced in the US today is industrial solid waste (ISW) produced during processes such as mining and mass agriculture. The remaining three percent is what we usually think of when we think of garbage: municipal solid waste (MSW) (EPA 1999; MacBride 2012: 87-88). While this split is crucial for shifting attention to the scalar dynamics of waste, I want to argue that when municipal solid waste—that which you and I throw away—is considered within its material, economic and historical context, it too can be categorized as industrial solid waste.

pour consulter l’article: “Modern Waste as Strategy,” Lo Squaderno: Explorations in Space and Society. Special edition on Garbage & Wastes. No 29, 2013. (open access)

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