Graduate Positions on Food Waste at University of Guelph

Dr. Kate Parizeau in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph is expanding her food waste research group and is looking for Master's and PhD students:

Our food waste research group at the University of Guelph is expanding. We have funding to bring in MA students (and perhaps a PhD student, if the fit is good) for Fall 2017 admission who may be interested in studying food waste in the Canadian context. There’s a lot of latitude in our topics of interest, but here are some issues we could supervise:

Critical perspectives on the connections between food waste and food insecurity
The social construction of food “waste”
Household food wasting behaviours
Food waste across the value chain
The economics of food waste (incentives, models, etc.)

Reach out to Dr. Parizeau by email:  kparizeau@uoguelph.ca

Call For Papers: "Treating Waste as a Resource" (DEADLINE 13 FEB, 2017) at the Royal Geographical Society, London England.

A call for abstracts for the session "Treating Waste as a Resource". The deadline for abstracts is 13 Feb, 2017. For more details about submission see the official CFP on the RGS Annual Meeting website.

The term ‘waste’ has an ontological ambiguity, e.g. as an excess, surplus, burden and/or resource. Its re-use is more feasible or thinkable for a surplus than for an excess (Bulkeley and Gregson, 2009). If a surplus finds no ultimate use, then its disposal imposes economic and environmental burdens which are often disproportionately distributed across race and income clusters. Since the late 20th century, waste has come to be associated with newer ontologies, e.g., as toxic chemical by-product of industrial activity; as double-edged burden of manufacturing essential pharmaceuticals. Waste is now seen also as surplus material from industrial manufacturing and consumption, e.g. originating in over-production or in by-products.
Valuing waste as a resource, the ‘waste hierarchy’ mandates an upwards shift from disposal (e.g. landfill), to recovery, recycling, re-use and ideally reduction at source (Hultman and Corvellec, 2012). ‘Treating waste’ has several meanings, e.g. designing, classifying, framing, segregating and metamorphosing waste. Its treatment can have various configurations for converting waste into outputs. Each facility can have different scalings as regard waste volumes, geospatial flows, public goods versus bads, their distribution and agents’ responsibility for such issues (Alexander and Reno, 2014; Reno, 2014, Levidow and Upham, 2016). Waste is inherently socio-material, shaped by waste regimes – historically specific modes of valorizing waste and of disciplining subjects (Cooper, 2009; Gille, 2010).

Waste flows are shaped by the interplay of waste regimes, policy agendas, regulatory pressures and markets, which readily cross national borders. Societal choices generally remain implicit — but can become explicit through controversy or critical analysis. This session invites Abstracts on the above topics.
RGS Annual Meeting

Publication Alert! Is the Circular Economy Fact or Fiction?

CWN member David McRobert and co-author Meghan Robinson have published an article in the Sept 2016 issue of Solid Waste and Recycling titled "Is the Circular Economy Fact or Fiction?"

The “three Rs” – reduce, reuse, and recycle – have been an alleged Holy Grail of progressive waste experts, consultants, and the environmental movement for many years. They are three different concepts that work in tandem to achieve common goals: increase efficiency, reduce our need to harvest natural resources by getting greater use out of what we already have, and build a more sustainable society.
The recently tabled Bill 155, the Waste Free Ontario Act (WFOA), seeks to place a greater emphasis on the three Rs principles, to create a circular economy with zero net waste sent to landfills. A lofty goal, to be sure, and while they are not insurmountable, there will be colossal hurdles along the way.
The three Rs have long been viewed an ideal, but in practice, their implementation has been spotty. Traditionally, while reduce, reuse, and recycle are always spoken in the same breath, the vast majority of effort and attention has been paid to recycling— arguably the least valuable of the three Rs. Fundamentally, the emphasis on 3Rs has steered policymakers away from a larger public policy debate
— David McRobert and Meghan Robinson, Solid Waste and Recycling

Calls for Papers, AAG 2017 Edition

The American Association of Geographers 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston is going to play host to a number of waste-oriented paper sessions. Two CFPs for this year:

Informality, legitimacy and authority in the age of the “Circular Economy”

Organizers:

Freyja Knapp, University of California, Berkeley

Manisha Anantharaman, St. Mary’s College of California

The circular economy is the “new kid on the block” in the arena of
technological and managerial responses to intensified waste production and
resource shortages. Circular economy strategists seek to apply technical and
design solutions to improve resource efficiency, reuse, and repurposing,
hoping for new waves of economic growth even in times of crisis. In parallel,
the urban infrastructure needed for circular resource flows is being remade
through processes of zoning and land use regulation in concert with waves of
gentrification and displacement. This session seeks to explore the
relationship between the growing activity and interest in the circular economy
(a subset of the “green” or sustainable economy) with contemporary urban
conflicts over so-called “nuisance” land uses, commodity property rights (e.g.
who owns curbside recyclables), race, and class. These conflicts recapitulate
familiar patterns of dispossession or appropriation, but with a green-economy
gloss that often masks socio-environmental injustices.  

Critical engagement with circular economy ideas and practice is of essence,
especially as the concept has recently gained prominence as a global
sustainability strategy attractive to policymakers and businesses. In this
eagerness to realize the “win-win” solutions that the circular economy
promises, the socio-spatial practices that comprise circularity occur in the
shadows of the excited claims of sustainable development and consumption,
eliding the politics of expertise and practice embedded in urban re-cycling
work.

This panel seeks to add to the growing critical scholarship on the green
economy and invites researchers studying discards, recycling, repurposing and
allied processes from a critical perspective to explore the hidden effects of
the circular economy transition. We are particularly interested in scholarship
that seeks to trouble the North-South distinction in waste/discard studies.
Some themes that we seek to explore include, but are not limited to:

How is the circular economy conceptualized across different places?

What physical, policy, and labor infrastructures articulate with the circular
economy, and how are they changing?

How are waste gleaning/picking and recycling activities in the so-called
“informal sector” articulating with new urban structures under the banner of
circular economy?

What are parallels or contradictions between the unlicensed waste collection
economies in the global North and the global South?

What does sustainability and justice mean within a circular/green economy?

What spatial politics are at work with “cleaning and greening up” the city?

How are patterns of economic development and gentrification intersecting with
already-existing circularities?

How are notions of authority, expertise, or rights leveraged in contestations
over who may legitimately participate in the green economy, and how?

How can we rethink “informality” through the circular economy?

Abstracts (250 words) should be sent to Freyja Knapp freyja@berkeley.edu and
Manisha Anantharaman ma20@stmarys-ca.edu by October 21. We will notify
accepted participants by October 24. The deadline to submit abstracts to the
AAG Annual Meeting is October 27.


Integrating waste systems: interrogating system boundaries and performance possibilities 

Organizers:

Lily Baum Pollans, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
Jonathan Krones, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Waste is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. In addition to being composed of an uncountable variety of materials, waste is generated and managed by actors at many scales, across disparate geographies, and through numerous processes. As discard studies scholars (among others) have noted, wastes have typically been categorized and treated—studied, regulated, managed—as discrete streams. Liquid waste is different from solid waste; industrial waste is different from municipal waste; hazardous waste is different from non-hazardous waste. These classificatory schemes render certain wastes less visible than others, and in so doing, have perpetuated the idea that isolated efforts to reduce waste in at a single locus—the household, often—will solve a nebulous and generalized “waste problem” (Liboiron 2014; MacBride, 2012; Gille, 2007). At the same time, the heterogeneity of wastes has historically necessitated approaches to infrastructure, management, and conceptualization that target to specific properties of waste materials in order to successfully satisfy dominant societal objectives such as sanitation or cost effective containment. With the acknowledgement of climate change and the many other ecological and social impacts of our modern systems of production and consumption, we ask whether these traditional, tailored approaches to waste will be able to adapt to new, broader performance goals.
With this session, we seek to improve our understanding of the extent to which the dimensions we use to conceptualize and define our waste systems either enable or constrain different performance possibilities of those systems, especially in light of a societal push towards sustainability. We seek scholars who work on questions of waste at a variety of scales and across material types to submit papers that transgress traditional waste boundaries or challenge their efficacy.

Topics could include:

  •  geographic abstraction of waste generation vs. physical emplacement of waste disposal
  •  the fractionating of MSW / the emergence of organic waste as a distinct municipal waste management category
  •  transboundary movements of waste materials and the diffusion of responsibility
  •  the regulatory possibilities of reconceptualizing waste as the output of a socio-metabolic process
  •  the implications of the hazardous/non-hazardous waste dichotomy / how hazards in officially non-hazardous wastes contaminate the biosphere
  •  integrating waste throughout the life-cycle, e.g. food waste at the farm, processor, retailer, restaurant, and home
  •  history of waste classifications and divergence of the possibilities frontier

Submission procedure:

If you are interested in joining this paper session, please submit a 250-word abstract to Lily Baum Pollans (lilyp@mit.edu) and Jonathan Krones (jonathan.krones@yale.edu) by Friday, October 20th. Please feel free to contact either of the session organizers about potential paper topics or with other questions concerning this call. We will get back to you before October 25th.  Please note that participants are also expected to register and submit their abstracts through the AAG website themselves by October 27th at latest.

More details about the AAG-meeting can be found here:

http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/call_for_papers

Public Lecture: Myra Hird at Penn State – "Microontologies of Waste, and the Radical Asymmetry of a Stratified Planet"

Myra Hird is giving a public lecture at Penn State on October 13th, 4:00pm-5:30pm. This will be followed by an advanced seminar on October 14th, 10:00am-11:30pm.

Microbes famously starred in Latour’s path-breaking account of a modern networked power that hinged upon turning microscopic life into visible, present and negotiable participants in socio-political worlds. Microorganisms continue to feature in accounts of global power in which human actors mobilize – globally, speedily, even preemptively – to counter threats of emergent pathogenic life. More recently, anthropogenic environmental disasters provide an opportunity for industry to set bacteria to work eating oil spills and cyanide in water systems. Both characterizations harbor a sense of control and mastery; that humans will overcome nature’s vicissitudes, and ultimately put nature – in this case the microcosmos – in our service as we imagine geo-engineering solutions to anthropogenic environmental change. This talk suggests an alternate framing of bacterial life as providing the condition of possibility for all other life forms on Earth. Through an analysis of the creative capacities of bacteria in metabolizing our global detritus, I argue that the ontological provocation of the human waste-bacterial conjunction is the fact of our total dependence on life forms whose life-worlds and trajectories are likely to remain overwhelmingly unknown to us. If this offers a cautionary note about our own increasingly hyperbolic perturbations of the Earth’s constitutive strata, perhaps its more profound prompting is about the force of the stratifications and destratifications proper to the planet itself.

Additional details, including directions and specific locations are available for the public lecture and for the seminar

PhD position available with Max Liboiron: place-based knowledge (natural &/or social sciences)

Max Liboiron of Memorial University is inviting applications for a funded PhD position. An overview of the position:

Dr. Max Liboiron invites applications to an open PhD position in place-based knowledge. There is no predetermined project for this position other than that it should use a place or Land-based lens to consider knowledge and/or the creation of knowledge. As this is an interdisciplinary project, applicants can be housed in a range of departments: Geography, Environmental Studies, Sociology, or the Interdisciplinary Program (each has a different application deadline and requirements; applicants should familiarize themselves with the application requirements of their target department). While not required, applicants are encouraged to work within the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a feminist marine science and technology lab run by Dr. Liboiron that includes students from both natural and social sciences.

Full details about the position and how to apply are available on the Civic Laboratory Website.

PhD Positions: 3 positions available in "Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy"

At the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München:

The DFG Emmy Noether Research Group Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy invites applications for three funded positions for doctoral candidates (salary group TV-L 13, 65%, 3 + 1 years, additional funds for research and archival trips available).

DEADLINE NOV 15, 2016

Successful applicants will be graduates in the humanities or social sciences who wish to research the ecological and economic aspects of the international trade in hazardous waste from a global historical perspective. Doctoral candidates in the project will work on case studies from Germany, India, or Ecuador and should have background knowledge and language skills relevant to the respective area.

The DFG Emmy-Noether Research Group Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy investigates structures and dynamics of international hazardous waste trade since the 1970s. The team, consisting of three PhDs and one head of research, works with an asymmetrical comparison of ‘ghost acres’ case studies from North America, Germany, Ecuador, and India. It seeks to understand how this system could seemingly be built simultaneously on structures of “voluntary exchange” of toxic materiality and “garbage imperialism.” The project works with two concepts identified as fundamental to the running of the global waste economy post-1970s: (1) hazardous waste mobility and (2) emergence of “ghost acres” in the aftermath of the environmental turn. Applying a global perspective, economic thinking, and constructivist approaches informed from the cultural turn, the project postulates the existence of regional, national, and transnational toxic waste regimes at the core of the global waste economy after industrial countries’ 1970s environmental turn.

Complete details available here

Publication Alert! "The Life and Times of Land fills"

American landfills are primarily understood as distinctly human and spatial creations, when in practice they are as much temporal as spatial and as much non-human as human. Based on a large landfills on the rural periphery of Detroit, this paper explores the emergent and polychronic forms of life fostered by controlled dumping. Landfill employees work with their ecological surroundings to satisfy regulatory directives and assemble ever-growing mountains of waste. The paper introduces the complex, practical negotiations that result by isolating and diagraming the distinct temporal scales at which nonhuman beings and powers aid in and disrupt the process of landfilling.

Publication Alert! "The DEW Line and Canada’s Arctic Waste: Legacy and Futurity"

Myra Hird has just published a new paper in The Northern Review titled "The DEW Line and Canada’s Arctic Waste: Legacy and Futurity"

During the Cold War, the United States and Canada embarked on an ambitious military construction project in the Arctic to protect North America from a northern Soviet attack. Comprised of sixty-three stations stretching across Alaska, Canada’s Arctic, Greenland, and Iceland, the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line constitutes both the largest military exercise and waste remediation project in Canadian Arctic history. Despite the massive cleanup operation undertaken, the DEW Line’s waste legacy endures as a prominent and deeply rooted feature of Canada’s Arctic history. Drawing upon a rich historical, anthropological, military, political science, and environmental studies literature, this article explores waste as a key issue in the shifting narratives concerned with the modernization of the Canadian Arctic. While the DEW Line has been extensively analyzed in terms of its effects on the modernization of the Arctic, this article seeks to link Canadian sovereignty, security, resource exploitation, environmental stewardship, and Inuit self-determination directly to waste issues. As industrial activity and military exercises stand to significantly increase in the Arctic, I want to draw attention to the lessons of the DEW Line; that ”develop now; remediate later” incurs steep human health, environmental, financial, and political costs.
The Northern Review

Follow the link above to the special issue on northern inequalities or grab the paper directly.

Household Waste Management Data Published

Myra Hird, Scott Lougheed, Cassandra Kuyvenhoven and R. Kerry Rowe have made data collected about attitudes and self-reported waste management behaviours in Kingston Ontario publicly available. The survey includes self-reported diversion behaviours, attitudes towards the environment, perspectives and perceptions of waste management decision-making, and more. 

You can access the dataset and codebook in the following two places:

Dataverse: http://hdl.handle.net/10864/11926

Queen's QSpace: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/14638

You can also download Lougheed, Hird, and Rowe 2016 "Governing Household Waste Management: An empirical analysis and critiqueEnvironmental Values, which reports on that data. 

Visit the "world's most polluted city"

  Photograph by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

 

Photograph by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

Some stunning and haunting photos from National Geographic from Delhi

To get a glimpse of what it’s like to live in these conditions, photographer Matthieu Paley spent five days walking across Delhi. Through his photographs, we see the physical results of intense urbanization, density of cars, and the practice of burning refuse. All contribute to the thick, yellow haze over the city. Even the sacred Yamuna River isn’t exempt from severe pollution.
National Geographic

Publication Alert! "Governing Household Waste Management: An empirical analysis and Critique – Lougheed et al

Lougheed, Hird and Rowe have just published "Governing household waste management: An empirical analysis and critique" in Environmental Values (25) 3. 

We conducted a survey of residents of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, (n = 107) to understand their attitudes to and experiences of waste management and governance. Currently, the municipality is emphasising waste diversion and exploring new waste processing systems (WPS; e.g., incineration) to reduce costs. Using Foucault’s governmentality theory, our data suggest Kingston’s reliance on an attitude-behaviour-context model of behaviour change successfully fosters an environmental citizenship identity based on waste diversion (e.g., recycling). However, we argue that the neoliberal governmentality upon which the attitude-behaviour-context model is predicated elides the need for, and inhibits consideration of, broader societal change concerning urgent environmental issues involving consumption and waste.
Environmental Values

Call for Posters Making Common Causes: Crises, Conflict, Creation, Conversation

From the Call for Posters:

The Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada is hosting its biennial conference at Queen’s University from June 15 th to June 18 th , 2016. This conference provides a unique interdisciplinary forum for students to display their research projects. The conference explores themes like:

  • What makes an environmental crisis common or uncommon?
  • What ways of imagining, re-imagining and making our environments are held in common, or perhaps just as valuably, are uncommon?
  • What can our common and uncommon cultures contribute in addressing environmental crisis?

However, the posters do not necessarily need to fit with the stated theme; all abstracts related to environmental studies are appreciated. We welcome posters from the social sciences, humanities, and sciences. We are striving for interdisciplinary representation!

The poster session is intended to highlight posters that feature: proposals for future research; overview of research processes; or results of a student's project.

Submission Process:

In order to submit a poster presentation for consideration, please submit an abstract—up to 200 words—to Cassandra Kuyvenhoven (9ck27@queensu.ca).

Important Dates:

  • Poster abstract submission deadline: Friday, May 20 th at 4:00pm. • Notification of decision to include poster: Friday, June 3 rd by 4:00pm.

General Guidelines:

Please format the poster as follows:

  • Standard Poster Size: 36 inches X 48 inches OR 18 inches X 24 inches o Layout: Landscape or Portrait
  • Materials: Paper-based (with matte finish or coated paper) or foam board (excluding tri-folds)
  • Suggested information to include: Title of poster; Presenter’s name; Department; Email; Purpose of research; Method; Findings; Conclusions
  • Posters from all disciplines are welcome and not all disciplines will necessarily follow these suggestions on information to include. Take a look at academic poster guidelines like:

http://library.queensu.ca/qlc/video/Academic_Posters/Academic_Posters.html

http://www.ugresearch.umd.edu/documents/designinghumanitiesposter.pdf

If you have further questions, please direct them to Cassandra Kuyvenhoven (9ck27@queensu.ca). The conference planning committee looks forward to your submissions!

Publication Alert! "Witnessing urban change: Insights from informal recyclers in Vancouver, BC" - Kate Parizeau

Kate Parizeau has published a new paper in Urban Studies "Witnessing urban change: Insights from informal recyclers in Vancouver, BC" (doi: 10.1177/0042098016639010):

The perspectives of those most affected by urban change are often understudied, although these voices have the potential to inform academic understandings of the production of gentrified space. The Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC is undergoing a period of intense redevelopment, raising concerns about the potential displacement of its predominantly low-income residents. In this study, informal recyclers (people who earn income from collecting recyclable or resaleable items) share their observations of neighbourhood change based on their lives and work in the DTES. Informal recyclers’ observations reveal that diverse gentrifying processes are at play in the DTES, including restricted access to space, the social exclusion of othered bodies, and the symbolic construction of the DTES as a place of poverty that is in need of intervention. The inclusion of informal recyclers’ perspectives provides nuance to place-based processes of gentrification, and acknowledges the concerns of low-income urbanites most affected by urban change.
Urban Studies

New Blog: Paul van der Werf's "Food is Food"

Paul van der Werf, a PhD Candidate at Western University, has started a web page devoted to the issue of Food Waste. In addition to pursuing his PhD he is CEO of 2CG consulting who perform waste audits and provide other services for municipalities and other clients. 

His new blog Food is Food covers a wide range of food waste-related issues including his strategies for reducing waste in his own home, literature summaries, and his own commentary and insights based on his professional and academic experience. 

You can also follow Paul on twitter @allfoodisfood.

Job Opening: Love Food Hate Waste Campaign (UK) CLOSING MAY 6, 9AM GMT

There is an opening for the position of Campaign Manager for WRAP UK's Love Food Hate Waste Campaign. 

We have an exciting opportunity for a campaign manager to deliver a step change in consumer food waste prevention nationally.

You will work with major retailers, brands, local authorities and other organisations to develop and manage a high profile highly-targeted consumer campaign across England and the UK, under the banner of Love Food Hate Waste. You will also develop and provide activities and collateral which can be used by our partners and by more localised campaigns (including in London and Wales). We would like to hear from you if you have skills and experience that include using press/PR, public and community engagement, changes to the retail environment and other communications channels.
WRAP UK

For complete details on the position and the application process visit the official job posting here.

Starbucks Commits to Donating all Unsold Food

There's a rapidly growing trend for manufacturers and retailers in Europe and North America to divert their excess and non-saleable goods to charities and food banks. Starbucks is the latest company to make this pledge in Canada:

The coffee chain announced Wednesday it will partner with an agency called Food Donation Connection to expand on an existing project. Since 2010, Starbucks has been collecting pastries at the company’s 7,600 stores after they can no longer be sold to customers, and working with FDC to get them to food banks and homeless shelters where they can be consumed.

The new plan expands on that to include perishable items such as breakfast sandwiches, salads, and other ready-to-eat meal packages.
CBC News

While these strategies are often lauded as a solution to both food insecurity and food waste, the steady increase in food bank use in the last couple decades suggests that food banks are not, themselves, the solution to food insecurity. They are a necessary bandaid. Moreover, these partnerships do little to discourage over-production among manufacturers and retailers. 

Nevertheless, it is a relatively straightforward food waste diversion strategy. By increasing the diversity of the products that are eligible for donation, Starbucks improves the quality and nutritionally soundness of the donations. 

Publication Alert! "Attitudes toward waste to energy facilities and impacts on diversion in Ontario, Canada"

Despite progress in residential waste diversion, residual waste – that fraction which cannot be recycled or composted – must continue to be managed by municipalities. Zero waste and environmental groups worry that waste-to-energy (WtE) incinerators discourage diversion, while both incineration and landfill have been stigmatized in the popular consciousness such that WtE incinerators in particular are being cancelled more often than they are approved. We conducted a mail-back survey of 217 residents in Toronto, Durham and Peel, Ontario, to understand attitudes toward diversion, levels of support for WtE incineration and WtE landfill (landfill gas recovery) facilities, and predictors of facility support. Contrary to experiences elsewhere, diversion seems threatened by WtE when measured as attitudes with 18%, and 14% agreeing that they would be less inclined to divert recyclable/compostable materials if they knew materials went to a WtE landfill or incinerator. When forced to choose between four options landfill or incineration with and without energy recovery, WtE incineration is most preferred (65%) and landfill without WtE is the least preferred option (61%). However, measurement has a large influence on public opinion results in the sense that support for WtE incineration drops to 43% when asked as a “vote in favor” question and to only 36% when measured as a 4-item index of support. When the indexes of support for landfill and WtE incineration are modeled, the prominence of odor in the landfill model distinguishes it from the WtE incinerator model which is dominated more by community and concern about health effects. Implications for policy are discussed, particularly mandatory diversion targets to accompany WtE.
Waste Management

Call For Papers: "Ethics and Transboundary Waste Movements" at the Annual Meeting of the CAG May 30-June 4, 2016

Call for Papers:

Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)

Halifax, NS

May 30 - June 4, 2016

Session Title: Ethics and Transboundary Waste Movements

 (DEADLINE MARCH 20)

Organizers: 

  • John-Michael Davis, Memorial University 
  • Alexander Zahara, Memorial University 

This session invites papers exploring ethical considerations of transboundary waste movement. Over the last decade, geographers of waste have demonstrated how discards move across various ecological, legal, and cultural boundaries: recycling and ‘Zero Waste’ initiatives move waste across national and provincial borders (MacBride 2011); plastics circulate transnationally through ocean gyres (Liboiron 2015); and emissions from incinerators climb their way through arctic food webs (Downie and Fenge 2003). Among other things, geographical studies have noted how the movement of waste matters, both politically and materially – waste and the consequences of waste are differentially understood and experienced (Gray-Cosgrove et al. 2015). Moreover, the varied stakeholders involved in managing wastes (e.g. industry, government, public and activist groups) often operate within competing ethical parameters, where the difference between right and wrong might involve balancing municipal budgets, tending to industry profit margins, or protecting environment and human health. 

In this session, we welcome empirical case studies that critically analyze spatial patterns and local experiences of waste, as well as more conceptual papers that theorize and challenge contemporary understandings of ethics in waste movement. Submissions may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Differences between and competition within formal and informal sectors of waste trade
  • Material geographies of waste (e.g. e-waste, food waste, marine plastics, corpses, feces, volatile contaminants, etc.)
  • Borders and waste, including: physical, ecological, political, or imagined borders
  • Waste management systems and the ‘right to pollute’
  • Transboundary legislation and waste
  • Ethics and methodologies in examining transboundary waste movement (participatory action research, activist methods, ethnography, decolonization, etc.)
  • Non-human geographies and waste
  • The role of geographers in addressing environmental and social justice 

If interested, please send abstracts of no more than 200 words to John-Michael Davis at jmed45@mun.ca and Alex Zahara at ardz76@mun.ca by March 20th.

References:

Downie, D. L. & Fenge, T. (2003). Northern Lights Against POPs: Combatting Toxic Threats in the Arctic. McGill-Queens University Press.

Gray-Cosgrove, C., Liboiron, M. & Lepawsky, J. (2015). The challenges of temporarilty to depollution and remediation. S.A.P.I.E.N.S [Online]. 8: https://sapiens.revues.org/1740 

Liboiron, M. (2015). Redefining pollution and action: The matter of plastics. Journal of Material Culture Online first: doi:10.1177/1359183515622966

MacBride S (2011) Recycling Reconsidered: The Present Failure and Future Promise of Environmental Action in the United States. MIT Press.