Policy Press

Organising Waste in the City

International Perspectives on Narratives and Practices

Edited by María José Zapata and Michael Hall


May 30, 2013

Page count

256 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Organising Waste in the City

This book offers a critical perspective on the issue of organising waste in cities, which has often been positioned in terms of relatively narrow engineering, economic and physical science approaches. It emphasises the ways in which the notion of waste, and the narratives and discourses associated with it, have been socially constructed with corresponding implications for waste governance and local waste handling practices.

Organising waste in the city takes a broad and international approach to the ways in which the issue of waste is framed, and brings together narratives from cities as diverse as Amsterdam, Bristol, Cairo, Gothenburg, Helsingborg and Managua. Organised into four main sections and with an integrative introduction and conclusion, the book not only provides new insights into the hidden stories of urban and municipal household solid waste and waste landscapes, but also connects concerns regarding urban waste to such issues as globalisation, governance, urban ecology, and social, economic and environmental justice.

María José Zapata is Fellow in the Gothenburg Research Institute, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, and Service Management Department, Lund University, Sweden. She has published on waste, city management, development and tourism.

Michael Hall is Professor in the Department of Management, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and Fellow, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Germany. He has published widely on tourism, regional development and environmental change.

Introduction: narratives of organizing waste in the city ~ María José Zapata and C. Michael Hall;

Part I: Spaces, places and sites of waste in the city;

The ecological and environmental significance of urban wastelands and drosscapes ~ C. Michael Hall;

The function of urban waste infrastructures as heterotopias of the city: narratives from Gothenburg and Managua ~ María José Zapata;

Part II: Global waste discourses and narratives shaping local practices;

When clean and green meets the Emerald Isle: contrasting waste governance narratives in Ireland and New Zealand ~ Anna Davies;

Waste in translation: global ideas of urban waste management in local practice ~ Patrik Zapata;

Part III: Waste governance and management practices;

Governance in a bottle ~ Dario Minervini;

Hybrid organisations in waste management: public and private organisations in a deregulated market environment ~ Philip Marcel Karré;

Waste management companies: critical urban infrastructural services that design the socio-materiality of waste ~ Hervé Corvellec and Johan Hultman;

Part IV: Waste and environmental, economic and social justice;

Cairo’s contested waste: Zabaleen’s local practices and privatization policies ~ Wael Fahmi and Keith Sutton;

Ecomodern discourse and localized narratives: waste policy, community mobilization and governmentality in Ireland ~ Liam Leonard;

Waste collection as an environmental justice issue: a case study of a neighbourhood in Bristol, UK ~ Karen Bell and David Sweeting;

Conclusions: framing the organizing of waste in the city ~ C. Michael Hall and María José Zapata.