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