How the socio materiality of waste shapes the conditions for markets
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How the socio- materiality of waste shapes the conditions for markets. J ohan H ultman H ervé C orvellec D epartment of Service S tudies L und U niversity S weden. Paper presented at the ESRN conference ’ Embeddedness and Beyond ’, October 27, Moscow.

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How the socio materiality of waste shapes the conditions for markets

How the socio-materialityofwasteshapes the conditions for markets

Johan Hultman

Hervé Corvellec

Departmentof Service Studies

Lund University

Sweden

Paper presented at the ESRN conference ’Embeddedness and Beyond’, October 27, Moscow


Aims of the presentation

Aimsof the presentation

Explain the socio-materialityofwaste

Reflect over howwaste socio-materialitiesshape the conditions for markets


Absence presence

Absence – presence

Waste is oftenunderstood as a problem to be managed – make it disappear!

But ’waste’ is a categoryof material assemblages– just like products and services – and the presenceofwaste in societyshapes social life.


The socio materiality of waste

The socio-materialityofwaste

Howwaste is defined and dealtwith, and the effectsthis has for the economy and the environment

Waste demandsbodilyengagement: it smells, it needs space, it needsto be organized – the materialityofwaste calls for attention all the time


But what is waste

Butwhat is waste?

A material categorythat is activelyproduced:

”…whathappens in society is thatpeople go towork, toschool, totheirbusinesses. And there material is produced. And this material wehavedecidedto mix in a container, and thenwecall it waste. Becausewastedoes not exist. There is no waste! There is only material! [But] into the container youput plastic. But plastic is not waste. Plastic is plastic. And youput in wood. And wood is wood. Butweinvented a word for it. And we call it waste.”

(waste management company respondent, 2011)


Growth scarcity

Growth – scarcity

Sweden is oneexampleof a capitalist consumersocietyaimed at:

1. economicgrowth, butalso…

2. …embedded in discoursesof material scarcity and global environmental problems


E conomy environment

Economy – environment

Problem

Solution

Wasting materials environmentallywrong

Definewaste as a resourceinsteadof a problem

All economicobjectsarethoroughlycultural /…/ (David Stark, 2009)


Re defining the socio materiality of waste

Re-defining the socio-materialityofwaste

Sendingwasteto a landfill: make it disappear!

=

A dissociativewaste socio-materialitythatdemands no particularengagement from wasteproducers (households, businesses, organizations, etc)


Re defining the socio materiality of waste1

Re-defining the socio-materialityofwaste

Facilitating the sortingofwaste at the pointofits generation (e.g. multi-fractionwaste bins) in order to make re-use and recycling possible

=

An associativewaste socio-materialitythatdemandsbodilyengagement and new spatial arrangementsamongwasteproducers


The waste hierarchy

The wastehierarchy


Waste socio materialities

Waste socio-materialities

Dissociative soc.-mat.


Waste socio materialities1

Waste socio-materialities

Associative soc.-mat.

Dissociative soc.-mat.


Waste socio materialities2

Waste socio-materialities

Reflexive soc.-mat.

Associative soc.-mat.

Dissociative soc.-mat.


Waste hierarchy economics

Waste hierarchyeconomics

Recovery (waste-to-energythrough incineration), recycling and re-use make wasteinto an economicobject. Thisencouragesgrowth and increasedmaterial circulation.

Avoidance (not toproducewaste at all) encourages new design practices, thrift, maintenanceand repair. Thismeansdecreased material circulation.


The conditions for markets

The conditions for markets

Throughitscontradictorymaximization-minimizationlogic, the wastehierarchydefines the socio-materialityofwastedifferently


The conditions for markets1

The conditions for markets

Throughitscontradictorymaximization-minimizationlogics, the wastehierarchydefines the socio-materialityofwastedifferently

Dissociative, associative and reflexivewaste socio-materialities fix the relation betweeneconomy and environment in different ways


The conditions for markets2

The conditions for markets

Throughitscontradictorymaximization-minimizationlogics, the wastehierarchydefines the socio-materialityofwastedifferently

Dissociative, associative and reflexivewaste socio-materialities fix the relation betweeneconomy and environment in different ways

Howeconomy and environmentarefixed in relation toeachothershape the conditions for markets


For example

For example…

Dissociativewaste markets

Associative waste markets

For mixed materials (to make incineration facilitiesworkoptimally)

For energy and districtheating

For increasinglysorted materials

For infrastructures and services thatfacilitatesorting

Brokers’ services for materials


And reflexive waste markets

…and reflexivewaste markets

For infrastructuresthatfacilitateavoidance

For services thatresults in avoidanceofwaste in production (fxmolecular-level design)

For services thatdecrease the intensityofconsumption (fx personal environmental coach)

For repair and maintenanceskills


Conclusions

Conclusions

Waste socio-materiality:

…is economically performative

…shapes the conditions for markets

…mightaffect the politicsofconsumption by encouragingreflectionamongwasteproducers


Thank you for your attention

Thankyou for your attention!

[email protected]

[email protected]


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