Publication Alert! Toxic Progeny: The Plastisphere and Other Queer Futures

Toxic Progeny: The Plastisphere and Other Queer Futures

By Heather Davis in PhiloSOPHIA

On April 11, 2014, the Norwegian newspaper The Local reported that Bjørn Frilund caught a large cod that, as he discovered as he was gutting it, had swallowed a dildo. Frilund speculated that the fish mistook the dildo for one of the multicolored octopi that are its usual food source and are common to the area. This is certainly not the first case of a marine animal mistaking a piece of plastic for food. Everything from whales to birds to turtles to bacteria have been documented consuming plastic (Tremlett 2013; Stephanis, Giménez, Carpinelli et al. 2013; Zettler, Mincer, and Amaral-Zettler 2013), presumably in a moment of misrecognition, or due to an inability to filter out the plastic that is now, in some parts of the ocean, six times more abundant than plankton (Andrady 2011; Law and Moret-Ferguson 2010). But what is interesting to me about this example is the explicit enmeshment and strange congruence of oceanic plastic as it ties into nonreproductive sex and queer futurity. Although silicone (the most likely material that the dildo was made from) is not what is normally grouped under the (very broad) term “plastic” because it is not derived from petrochemicals, it shares the same problem that plastic poses; that is, its non-decomposability. We are not certain how long plastic may stick around for, but as is now commonly known, plastic can be considered practically immortal. That is, the timescale for which plastic may biodegrade, meaning that it turns into something else (delineated from simply breaking down, tearing, or becoming smaller), is on the order of thousands of years. Given this incredible longevity, plastic can then be understood as a non-filial human progeny, a bastard child that will most certainly outlive us. And it is heralding in a future in which—regardless of one’s gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs—reproduction is increasingly decoupled from sex. Plastic is contributing to this non-reproductivity while birthing a future of strange new life forms adapted to deal with these chemicals. What kind of offspring is plastic? How might it intersect with questions of queer life and (non)reproduction? And, in light of our increasingly nonreproductive futures, might there be something to be learned from queer theory, and the embodiment of queer subjects that have never assumed biological reproduction to be the ultimate signifier of hope?

This essay will look to bring the worlds of plastic and queer theory together under the conditions of non-reproduction and extinction, a world where our progeny may not even be human much less our biological offspring. Here, I am following Nicole Seymour’s assertion that “queer values—caring not (just) about the individual, the family, or one’s descendants, but about the Other species and persons to whom one has no immediate relations—may be the most effective ecological values” (2013, 27). This fissuring of reproductive logic from biology could be one of the most important lessons in a world that is increasingly toxic. For, as Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson write in Queer Ecologies, “queer attachments work both to celebrate the excess of life and to politicize the sites at which this excess is eradicated” (2010, 37). To develop these ideas, I build upon and am indebted to feminist science studies scholars such as Nancy Tuana, Donna Haraway, and Mel Chen, among many others, who assert the inherently intertwined viscous porosity of our bodies, our multiple compositions, and the necessarily imbricated and implicated nature of that position.
PhiloSOPHIA

CFP: "Looking at Junk" Graduate Conference

Binocular Graduate Conference 2016
“Looking at Junk”

April 29-30, 2016
Toronto, ON, Canada 

Abstracts Due: March 11, 2016

The York University Science and Technology Studies Department (STS) and the University of Toronto’s Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science (IHPST) welcome submissions for their second annual joint Binocular Graduate Conference on the theme “Looking at Junk,” April 29-30, 2016, in Toronto.

The recent explosion of Discard Studies points towards a world in which it is increasingly accepted and encouraged to look at not just what is successful, useful or present, but also what is unsuccessful, useless, or discarded. The material focus of Discard Studies is one way to understand this tendency, but there are also discarded ideas, useless theories, and tracks that research just doesn’t take in the course of its formation. There is also knowledge that is deliberately obfuscated or ‘junked,’ as Proctor and Schiebinger’s Agnotology and Oreskes and Conway’s Merchants of Doubt detail. This call for papers is therefore focused on bringing to the foreground that which has, out of necessity or choice, been relegated to the background.  

“Junk” is a purposefully broad theme, encompassing the junk of the world and the process of “junking”:

  • rejected or obfuscated scientific and technological methods, data, and theories
  • the history of neglected or abandoned objects, instruments, ideas
  • the messy process of research that has not led to productive ends

But the theme also encourages reflexivity and invites us to look at our own junk:

  • a discarded paper, train of thought, dead end in research
  • a paper that has been floating around in the back of your head/hard drive that you do not quite know what to do with

Presenting on these allows us to acknowledge that research –particularly as graduate students—is a messy process. We hope this can be an opportunity to be reflexive, share our pitfalls, talk about different kinds of junk, and present unfinished thought processes in a collegial environment. We will examine the limits of knowledge in a disposable world and how that shapes us as graduate students and people. 

We invite graduate students to submit 200-300 word abstracts for a 15-20 minute presentation related to any of the aforementioned or similar theme(s). Proposals for panels will also be accepted. Interdisciplinary contributions from beyond HPST/STS are encouraged and welcomed.

Keynote: Max Liboiron, Assistant Professor in Sociology and Environmental Sciences at Memorial University, NL

Abstracts are due March 11, 2016.

Please send all submissions or questions to binocularconference@gmail.com 

For more information on the conference, visit the website.

 

Publication Alert! "Redefining pollution and action: The matter of plastics"

CWN Member Max Liboiron, publishing in The Journal of Material Culture with the article "Redefining pollution and action: The matter of plastics"

Abstract below:

Using plastic pollution as a case study, this article shows how the material characteristics of objects – their density, their size, and the strength of their molecular bonds, among other traits – are central to their agency. The author argues that it is crucial to attend to the physical characteristics of matter if we, as researchers, are going to describe problems and contribute to solutions for ‘bad actors’ like pollutants. Plastics and their chemicals are challenging regulatory models of pollution, research methods, and modes of action because of their ubiquity, longevity, and scale of production. This article investigates how scientists researching plastic pollution are attempting to create a new model – or models – of pollution that account for the unpredictable and complex materialities of 21st-century pollutants, and how the Anthropocene has come to be a shorthand for our material understandings of moral transgressions, cherished boundaries, and good citizenship.

Publication Alert! "Informal recyclers' geographies of surviving neoliberal urbanism in Vancouver, BC"

A new publication co-authored by CWN member Kate Parizeau is in this month's issue of Applied Geography, titled "Informal recyclers' geographies of surviving neoliberal urbanism in Vancouver, BC"

Abstract below:

Based on our study of informal recyclers’ experiences of well-being, we draw on “geographies of survival” to understand the challenges that these informal workers experience in a context of urban change in Vancouver, BC. This concept explains that impoverished city residents construct pathways through the urban landscape that provide shelter, access to food, spaces of safety, and community. Informal recyclers’ geographies of survival are connected with urban inequality and are exacerbated by neoliberal trends in the governance of Vancouver’s physical, social, and political spaces. We observe that certain users and uses of public space are defined as disorderly or illegitimate, the poor are pushed to the margins of society, and rhetorical urban revitalization and “greening” agendas are prioritized over the needs of the poor in policy making. However, neoliberal trends are inherently contradictory and can change based on local contestation and opposition. Geographies of survival are therefore an important mechanism through which informal recyclers can reclaim city spaces as they resist spatial restrictions and work to maintain their access to necessary resources. We conclude that the geographies of survival lens provides an important perspective on urban power relationships and their spatial dynamics in contemporary Vancouver.

Call For Papers: 6th Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Bergamo (Italy), 8-11 June 2016

DEADLINE JANUARY 15

Full details HERE. Excerpt below:

Call for Papers for 6th Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference, Bergamo (Italy), 8-11 June 2016


“Ethnographies of Waste Politics”

Convenor: Nick Dines, Middlesex University, London UK.

Today the multiple ways in which different kinds of waste (municipal, industrial, hazardous, digital, human, etc.) are produced, circulated, destroyed and transformed constitute an established field of inquiry in the social sciences. Waste is studied both as a topic in itself and as a lens through which to examine broader processes in contemporary capitalist societies, be these emergent forms of neoliberal governmentality or alternative modes of organizing social life.

At a generic level, social theorists such as Zygmunt Bauman and Ulrich Beck have adopted waste as a metaconcept to make sense of the dilemmas of late modernity, while at a more specific level, struggles against incinerators and landfills, especially in the United States, have made a fundamental contribution to debates about environmental justice. In recent years major conflicts over waste management around the world, from Naples to Beirut, Guangzhou to Bogotà, have attracted mainstream media and scholarly interest, although the political significance of these controversial cases has frequently been misrepresented and trivialized. At the same time, the politics of waste also plays out at a mundane and unspectacular level, for example in the informal collection strategies deployed by the Zabbaleen garbage recyclers in Cairo in response to the privatization of the city’s refuse system.

Combining a focus on the institutional, agonistic and everyday politics of waste, this panel aims to explore how ethnography can enrich our understanding of the contested material and symbolic place of waste in contemporary societies. Proposals are welcome that draw on original ethnographic research and that engage with the wider political and social dimensions of waste. Possible themes include, but are not limited to the following:

• The governance and bureaucracy of waste systems.
• The politics of waste ‘crises’ and ‘emergencies’.
• Urban waste and the right to the city.
• Anti-incinerator and anti-landfill campaigns.
• Organised labour in the refuse sector.
• Counter-strategies to living and working in localities stigmatised by waste.
• The production of professional and popular knowledge about waste cycles and management.
• The disciplinary regimes of alternative waste management (e.g. zero waste).

Please email abstracts (300-500 words) with full contact details to Nick Dines

Take a tour of a modern recycling facility with Ars Technica

Ars Technica tours a large US recycling facility. The article offers blend of potentially contestable commentary and fascinating photos and descriptions of modern recycling. 

Recycled materials are only valuable if they’re pure—a collection of a single type of metal or plastic that can serve as a feedstock for manufacturing or other industrial processes. The economics of recycling would actually be spectacular if you could get people to separate out a dozen individual classes of recyclables and then deliver them to a recycling center.

Unfortunately, there’d be almost no recycled materials then, since almost nobody would put in the effort to do all the sorting and carting. In fact, sorting recyclables into anything more than one or two separate streams causes the recycling rate to plunge. Single-stream recycling has a big advantage in transportation terms, as well. When trucks aren’t required to have spaces dedicated to individual recyclables, they’re more likely to end up completely filled before they bring the material to its destination.

That pushes the problem of separating out pure materials to the recycling center itself. Here again, economics limits the choices: the more people involved in carefully distinguishing each type of recyclable, the more expensive the process. For recycling, automation is key. But how can a machine distinguish different types of material and separate each of them out?
Ars Technica

These brief behind-the-scenes glimpses are compelling. This system is considerably more sophisticated than systems found in smaller towns like Kingston, for example. It also highlights, if implicitly, the tension between the politics of waste management, technical limitations and possibilities, and individual responsibilization.

Free film screening: "Guardians of Eternity" Yellowknife, Ottawa, and St. John's

The Toxic Legacies Project and filmmaker France Benoit present free public screenings of the new documentary, "Guardians of Eternity".

The screenings will take place on the following dates:

  • Yellowknife: Nov. 7th;
  • Ottawa: Nov 19th;
  • St. John's: Nov. 26.

The film is a collaboration with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and emphasizes the need for communicating with future generations regarding the storage of 237,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide beneath Yellowknife's abandoned Giant Mine. For more details on times and locations, see the Facebook page.

You can view the trailer embedded below and you can "like" Guardians of Eternity on Facebook

CALL FOR PAPERS: Waste In Asia International Conference, 9–11 June 2016, Leiden University

Flickr -   Alan Levine

Flickr - Alan Levine

Deadline: 10th December 2015

We invite proposals for papers exploring the theme of ‘Waste in Asia’ from the perspective of the humanities and social sciences, regarding both the present day and the past. Possible topics might include (but need not be limited to) waste collection and recycling, food waste and its prevention, packaging, dustbins, and other forms of material culture related to waste, garbage art, digital waste and waste-related literature. We particularly welcome papers that focus on social, political and cultural contexts influencing attitudes, practices and policies related to waste across Asia, as well as their social, political and cultural consequences.

We aim for this event to be truly cross-disciplinary and hope that the theme will attract anthropologists and sociologists, as well as historians, geographers, archaeologists and specialists in visual and performing arts, cultural studies, literature and film.

The conference will be hosted by the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). It is part of the activities undertaken within the framework of the Garbage Matters Project (www.garbagemattersproject.com).

DETAILS

  • The conference will open in the morning of Thursday 9 June and will end on Saturday 11 June.
  • The conference is open to the public, but those wishing to attend should register in advance by sending an e-mail to WiA2016@garbagematters.com with ‘Registration: Waste in Asia’ in the subject line. No registration fees will be charged.
  • The organizers will cover travel expenses (economy-class airfare to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport) for participants presenting accepted papers. Meals and accommodation will be provided free ofcharge for paper presenters.
  • The language of the conference will be English.
  • Please consult the ‘Waste in Asia 2016’ section on our website for more details: http://www.garbagemattersproject.com/waste-in-asia-2016/

SUBMITTING A PAPER PROPOSAL

Deadline: 10th December 2015
Submit your abstract of 200-300 words in an e-mail (no attachments) to WiA2016@garbagematters.com.
The subject line should read ‘Abstract: Waste in Asia 2016’.
Include a brief biographical statement (max. 150 words).
We will let you know whether your proposal has been accepted by 10 January 2016.

Call for Papers, Panels, and Other Presentations Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC) DEADLINE EXTENDED

There is a CFP for the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC) 
Biennial Conference hosted at Queen's University on July 15-18, 2016. 

The NEW deadline for submissions is SEPTEMBER 20, 2015

The CFP text is below:

Making Common Causes Crises, Conflict, Creation, Conversation

 

  • What makes an environmental crisis common or uncommon? 
  • How do our understandings of environments depend on causes—both as ideas of causality 
  • and ideas of action? 
  • 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? 
  • How might we understand culturing as an experiment, and thus as a means of creation and 
  • conversation? What might we seek to culture? 
  • What kinds of environmental commons and means of conversation do we already have, or 
  • should we create? 

Global climate change, soil depletion, the enclosure of the commons, the acidification of the oceans, ground water contamination, mass extinctions: in a context in which the environmental crises of the day seem to us so intractable, at such large scales and dominated by such powerful interests, the making of common causes seems especially urgent. But imagining how to do so, across multitudinous and diverse lives and situations, is a challenge. Even if our environmental crises seem commonplace, and even if the problems we face sometimes seem to have a common cause (as in Naomi Klein’s recent subtitle, “Capitalism Versus the Climate”), the responses, alternatives, and critiques are often contentious. We might ask, then, to what extent are ecological investments common? How do conflicting interests and varying positions of power and privilege shape how we view the projects of environmental cultural work? How do ideas of crisis itself differ depending on embodied experience and global location? What might a turn to the historical archives offer in attempting to ground future orientations of environmental crisis? How have writers, artists, and critics played a role in representing existing crises and conflicts, and in imagining alternatives to them? To what extent has this cultural production found common cause in activist work in and outside of the academy? 

Putting emphasis on the active work of “making,” the 2016 ALECC conference invites reflection on the diverse ways in which common causes—including the commons as cause—might be crafted. Contributions are, however, not limited to these concerns. Recognizing the many ways in which environmental work is enacted, we are first and foremost deeply invested in the process of conversation—and in the creative potential that perspectives from all areas of environmental studies can offer. In the interest of fostering such conversation, we welcome both traditional panels and alternative formats, such as performances and collaborations; roundtables; readings of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or memoir; and film and other media. We also welcome a range of participants, including ecocritics and ecocultural studies practitioners; environmental humanists, social scientists, and scientists; artists, activists, and interested members of the larger community. 
Participants may wish to address (but are not limited to addressing) some of the following questions: 

  • How have the commons been lived, experienced, and represented in different cultural traditions and global locations? Must the commons end in tragedy, as Garrett Hardin famously suggested, or is there potential for an abundant commons? A reinvigorated commons? Can the commons provide a counterforce to capitalism?  
  • How might Indigenous views of the environment and of creation, as the relationships between people, other living beings, and spirits that share the land, support or challenge western notions of the commons, common causes, conflict, and crisis? 
  • How might environmental artists and scholars challenge inequities arising from sexism, heteronormativity, racism, colonialism, ableism, and speciesism? What conceptual tools might assist in accounting for the diversity of experiences in the pursuit of common goals?   
  • With whom can common causes be made? What must be “in common”? Must all constituencies be human? To what extent might Stacy Alaimo’s, Donna Haraway’s, Karen Barad’s or Bruno Latour’s various understandings of material agency allow us to think the ‘in common’ without a volitional subject?  
  • How might the digital environmental humanities allow us to think “the commons” in a new way? Can the digital commons contribute to preservation or revitalization of the terrestrial, oceanic, or atmospheric commons? And, in the spirit of the new materialisms, to what extent must the material underpinnings of the digital—from mining, to manufacturing, to server farms, to e-waste—be a consideration of any digital environmental humanities project? 
  • What is the relationship between aesthetics and responsibility? To what ends might ecocritical work focus on the aesthetic form or experience of literature or other arts? How might an ecocritical consideration of “form” trouble aesthetic categories, or the way we conceive of the political?  
  • To what extent is environmental thinking necessarily futural? How might thinking environmental histories (and/or literary histories) complicate our thinking? To what extent is environmental temporality “common” (as in the landmark text, Our Common Future, the source of so much contemporary thinking on sustainable development)? How might we think difference within the common space-time of the Anthropocene?  
  • Taking the word “creation” in more spiritual directions, how have contemporary articulations of enchantment, religiosity, or secularity (or “post-secularity”) contributed to our thinking of environmental crisis? How might these concerns help to navigate the gaps between the power of what Mark Lynas calls “the God species” and the seeming incalculability of the consequences of our actions? 
  • Mindful that environmental crises are ideological, institutional, historical, and deeply material, how might environmental scholars be better attentive to the material conditions and consequences of their labour, and to all unevenly shared properties, in the food systems that sustain us or in the energy systems that power our laptops or the waste streams that issue from our institutions? 
  • As scholarly pursuits related to the “environment” diversify and multiply, to what extent are different disciplines engaged in “common” work? How should we take stock of and negotiate fractures between various kinds of environmental humanities, both internally and in relation to natural sciences and creative work? How do we tell the stories of fields such as ecocriticism, ecofeminism, or environmental philosophy? Which voices gather in these commons, and who remains outside? How does this disciplinary border work shape our understanding of environmental crises?   

To propose an individual paper, creative or other work, including a reading (20 minutes), please submit a blind (no name included) proposal that includes a title; a 500-word (maximum) abstract; your preference for a scholarly, creative or mixed session; and any requests for audio-visual equipment. In a separate document, please send name, proposal title, current contact information, and a one-page curriculum vitae (used for funding applications). 

To propose a pre-formed scholarly panel or creative session (three presenters, 90 minutes session total), please submit as a complete package the following: 

  • session title 
  • 200-word session abstract 
  • one page curriculum vitae and contact information for the session organizer and each presenter 
  • blind 500-word abstracts for each paper/presentation (as possible). 

To propose some other kind of format or presentation (e.g., workshops, roundtables, exhibits, 
performances), please contact the organizing committee in advance of the September 1 deadline to discuss proposal submission requirements. 
Proposals should indicate clearly the nature of the session and all requests for audio-visual equipment and any other specific needs (e.g., space, moveable chairs, outdoors, etc.). We ask that panel organizers attempt to include a diversity of participants (e.g., not all from the same institution). 

Proposals must be submitted by September 1, 2015 to alecc2016@gmail.com

Official submissions should include the word SUBMISSION, the abstract type (panel, paper, 
other), and your (or the panel proposer's) name in the subject line. Example: SUBMISSION
paper Gayatri Spivak.
We will acknowledge all submissions within 3 days of receipt.  
Any general questions or queries for the organizing committee should include the word QUERY in the subject line. Example: QUERY regarding accommodations.  

There is also a post in the CWN forum for discussion.

Special Issue of Society and Space

A special issue of Society and Space is available this month titled "Discards, Diverse Economies, And Degrowth" edited By Canada's Waste Network members Josh Lepawsky And Max Liboiron. 

Since the last economic recession, discussions about how to reimagine ecologically and socially just economies have proliferated. A recent conversation at the 2015 American Association of Geographers Conference in Chicago focused on the role of waste, pollution, and other discarded materials that pose fundamental problems for economic production in these imaginaries. We are pleased to announce a series of short, open-source publications on Society and Space Open Forum that look at the intersection of discards, diverse economies, and degrowth. They will query how different regimes of value and circulation can redefine waste, and how the material agencies of waste will shape future economies.

The issue includes:

"Why Discards, Diverse Economies, and Degrowth?" By Josh Lepawsky and Max Liboiron

"An Ethics of Surplus and the Right to Waste" By Max Liboiron

"Diverse Economies of Urban Mining in Australia" By Ruth Lane

"Exchange and refurbish: practicing decoloniality through rethinking discards and degrowth" By Erin Araujo

"Reimagining the New Industrial City: articulating an alternative ethos of waste and production through ‘closing the loop’" By Ingrid Elísabet Feeney

Definitely check out this intriguing special issue that covers a lot of ground. If you are interested in discussing it you may want to drop by the corresponding forum post and have your say!


CWN Community Forums and Email Digest

Several days ago I "soft launched" the Canada's Waste Network forums (you might have seen the link added to the navigation menu several days ago). This post marks the formal (not so soft) launch of the forum. 

The desire is for this forum to server several functions:

  • A collaborative and collegial space to discuss upcoming events, promote your work, advertise positions, and discuss conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and other research-related issues.
  • A place to discuss matters related to the Canada's Waste Network itself, such as resources you might like to see or issues (e.g., broken links) that might arise over time.
  • A place for organizing events.
  • A place for working through ideas or posting short, informal writing.
  • In addition to the intended purposes stated above, this forum, its structure, and its use, should ideally remain flexible. If there are new sections or topics you'd like added, we can make it happen. It will be adapted as needs emerge. 

Goals

The ambition of the forum is to facilitate member participation and interaction by allowing members to freely post content they'd like to share, such as, but not limited to, the ideas listed above. 
Certain content posted on these forums will be "curated" on a regular basis and may posted to the actual CWN website. For example, I will have my eye out for:

  • Employment/volunteer/student opportunities posted here will also be posted in the relevant section of the CWN website.
  • Publications you promote on the forums will be added to the Outputs section of the website
  • Upcoming events posted will be promoted on the blog
  • Things you post explicitly requesting being added to the website will be added to the website

My hope is that this will keep the content on both the website and the forum reasonably current and relevant for members and visitors. No original content will be reproduced to the CWN website, though I may suggest working together with you to turn something posted on these forums into a guest blog post which you will have full control over. 

Caveats

This forum is, and will remain, a "beta" or "experiment" for the foreseeable future. It isn't clear if the forum software is suitable for our needs, if the topics we've initially chosen are meaningful, and if the forum actually fills a need felt by the community. This is all to say that initially, and for the foreseeable future, there may be numerous technical hiccups, organizational issues, and other hurdles related to the management of this online community. As such we ask both for your enthusiastic participation, your constructive feedback, and your patience while the kinks are worked out.

Email Digest

I am also considering putting together a monthly email digest rather than a traditional listserv. The digest will be distributed to all CWN members (with Unsubscribe option) and will contain content curated from the forums for the website as well as other community news. Listservs can often be overwhelming and inflate our inboxes. The combination between the forum and the monthly digest should allow people who want up-to-the-minute information to visit the forums or subscribe to forum notification, while those who just want highlights can simply use the digest. This allows you to stay on top of things at your desired pace and give you control over your email load. 

 

Discard Studies Feature

Our sincerest thanks to Max Liboiron and the rest of the fine people at Discard Studies for promoting the launch of Canada's Waste Network. Discard Studies was founded in 2010 and has been a source for thoughtful and provocative writing about that which "is systematically left out, devalued, left behind, and externalized" (1). 

Along with frequent and compelling blog posts, Discard Studies has compiled some great resources. While I'd urge you to check them all out, I'd like to highlight the Discard Studies Compendium as a "must see"The Compendium is an ideal place for veteran scholars as well as those new to discard/waste studies to acquaint themselves with the field.

CPIA Facility Tours and Growing the Community

Waste Processing Tours

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is hosting tours of two of its waste management/recovery facilities.

The first tour is in Edmonton, Alberta on September 29th, 2015. More details here: http://www.plastics.ca/home/events/edmonenergytour.php

The second tour is in Durham, Ontario on October 14th, 2015. More details here: http://www.plastics.ca/home/events/durhamtour.php

This might be an interesting opportunity for members in those regions to meet face to face. I'm happy to work with Ontario/Eastern members on the Durham tour. I'm also happy to try and liaise between members on the Western half of the country who are interested in coordinating a meet-up for the Edmonton tour, comment below or contact me at lougheed{dot}scott{at}queensu{dot}ca and I can try and connect people. 

Growing the Community

Meanwhile, thanks to those who have agreed to become members of Canada's Waste Network. This community is slowly getting off the ground, and we are hoping to keep growing and adding useful resources. We should have news in the next few weeks about new resources available to this community and we are eager for your feedback on what you'd like to see, what you don't want to see, and so on.

I also encourage everyone to spread the word about the Network. We reached out to a large number of scholars in order to launch the community, but we fell far short of reaching everyone. If you know  of researchers (graduate or faculty), please make them aware of this community and direct them to http://www.canadaswastenetwork.ca/join/

Launching Canada's Waste Network

We are pleased to announce the launch of Canada's Waste Network. This is a community that will be dynamic, collaborative, and member-driven. The ambition with Canada's Waste Network is threefold.

First, we want the Network to facilitate better research by collecting people and resources into a central location, allowing ideas and researchers to connect and spread.

Second,  we want the Network to help get your work noticed by other scholars as well as the public.

Third, we want to connect your research groups. Many scholars across the country have formed immensely productive groups of researchers and students into regionally- or institutionally-based groups, and we want to promote those groups. 

This is a new community and we are just getting started. We will be  building out new community features and resources over time. In the near-term you can expect to see:

  • A collaborative online discussion space 
  • Regular guest blog posts
  • A social media presence

We also have many longer-term developments in the pipeline and we welcome your ideas. Please visit the Contact page to send us your ideas!