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Special Issue "Waste, Space, and Place"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Mr. Gideon Singer

Department of Anthropology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: applied anthropology; behavioral archaeology; infrastructure; E-waste; sustainability
Guest Editor
Dr. Keri Chiveralls

The Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Wayville, SA 5034, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cultural anthropology; permaculture; sustainability; waste; reuse
Guest Editor
Dr. Kirrilly Thompson

Associate Professor, The Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Wayville, SA 5034, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: human-animal relations; animal studies; risk perception; risk mitigation; risk management; equine anthrozoology; safety; culture; horses; behavior change; natural disasters and emergencies; ethnography; mixed-methods research; Spain; bullfighting
Guest Editor
Dr. H. Kory Cooper

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: behavioral archaeology; technology and innovation; archaeometallurgy; hunter-gatherers; E-waste

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the twentieth century, landfills were the designated places to dispose of things that people no longer needed or wanted. However, rising human populations have increased both competition for space and concerns regarding pollution. While industrial and domestic waste present societal and environmental challenges, there are also important opportunities associated with the recovery of materials destined for non-use or landfills. Since the early 2000s, there has been a growing emphasis on the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste as a preferable alternative to the sanitary landfills of the twentieth century. These practices destabilize ideas of what constitutes waste material, whilst creating a space through which to consider the diversion of material from places designated for waste. As such, researchers are increasingly focused on the productive potential of waste as a social, cultural and material resource (Pickren 2014; Reddy 2015, Reno 2014).

Whereas the waste sector has made substantial contributions to the direct measurement, mitigation, and recovery of waste, social science and humanities scholars are theoretically and methodologically well-suited for contextualizing the decisions people make to reduce, reuse, recycle, or discard material considered ‘waste’ within a web of socio-cultural, economic, and geopolitical factors.

This Special Issue brings together scholars from the social sciences and humanities with waste management experts to incorporate a variety of voices and ideas typically left out of waste management discourse. We invite papers from multiple disciplines to engage with the topics of waste, wastage, wasting, waste-ability, rescue and salvage in relation to space and place. We are particularly interested in papers considering:

  • Innovative social/technological solutions to mass waste;
  • E-waste and the technologies we consume;
  • The effects of space and scale on waste management
  • How waste generates particular experiences of place and identity;
  • Waste as an index of social relationships;
  • The role of waste in the social construction of the places in which we live and work.
Mr. Gideon Singer
Dr Keri Chiveralls
Dr Kirrilly Thompson
Dr. H. Kory Cooper
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • anthropology of waste
  • electronic waste
  • space, place, and identity
  • waste management
  • sustainability
  • resource recovery

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Normative Beliefs, Attitudes, and Social Norms: People Reduce Waste as an Index of Social Relationships When Spending Leisure Time
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1696; doi:10.3390/su9101696
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
This study has adopted and refined Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior, theory of reasoned action, and the value–belief–norm theory by Stern et al. to investigate the effects of normative beliefs, attitudes, and social norms on pro-environmental behavioral intentions. A total of 391 valid
[...] Read more.
This study has adopted and refined Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior, theory of reasoned action, and the value–belief–norm theory by Stern et al. to investigate the effects of normative beliefs, attitudes, and social norms on pro-environmental behavioral intentions. A total of 391 valid responses were collected from visitors to a theme park in Taiwan. A structure equation analysis indicated that the overall fit of the proposed model was supported. It was also found that both attitudes and social norms had positive and significant influence on waste reduction. While the results did not reveal any direct relation between normative beliefs and behavioral intentions, normative beliefs had positive direct influence on social norms and attitudes, which in turn had an impact on behavioral intentions. The findings provided further insights about pro-environmental behavioral intentions from an Asia perspective and highlighted important implications for environmental policies and education to reduce waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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Open AccessArticle Resource Recovery from Waste: Restoring the Balance between Resource Scarcity and Waste Overload
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1603; doi:10.3390/su9091603
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Current societal patterns of production and consumption drive a twin environmental crisis of resource scarcity and waste overload. Positioning waste and resource management in the context of ecosystem stewardship, this article relates increasing resource demand and waste production to the violation of planetary
[...] Read more.
Current societal patterns of production and consumption drive a twin environmental crisis of resource scarcity and waste overload. Positioning waste and resource management in the context of ecosystem stewardship, this article relates increasing resource demand and waste production to the violation of planetary boundaries and human rights. We argue that a transition towards a circular economy (CE) that contributes to a resilient environment and human well-being is necessary to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The transition requires scientific and technological progress, including the development of low-energy biogeochemical technologies for resource recovery, and multi-dimensional value assessment tools integrating environmental, social, and economic factors. While the urgency to adopt a CE is well-recognised, progress has been slow. Coordinated change is required from multiple actors across society. Academia can contribute through participatory action research. This article concludes with the participation strategy of the Resource Recovery from Waste programme, aiming for changes in mentality, industry practices, and policies and regulations in the waste and resource management landscape in the UK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Income Level and Seasons on Quantity and Composition of Municipal Solid Waste: A Case Study of the Capital City of Pakistan
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1568; doi:10.3390/su9091568
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The current study aims to analyze and compare the quantity and composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) at three socio-economic levels of population during all four seasons of the year (spring, summer, monsoon and winter). In this study, 2164.75 kg of MSW was
[...] Read more.
The current study aims to analyze and compare the quantity and composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) at three socio-economic levels of population during all four seasons of the year (spring, summer, monsoon and winter). In this study, 2164.75 kg of MSW was evaluated, from 1260 samples collected from 45 households. The average waste generation was estimated to be 0.6 kg per capita per day. Waste generation rate for high, middle and low income groups was 0.890, 0.612 and 0.346 kg per capita per day, respectively. Nevertheless, season specific analysis indicated waste generation rates of 0.78, 0.58, 0.48 and 0.75 kg per capita per day in spring, summer, monsoon and winter, respectively. A two way ANOVA statistical analysis further illustrated a significant effect (p = 0.00) of economic level and seasons on the amount and composition of waste generated by the community. Moreover, the collected waste was segregated into 42 categories, where the highest was the organic fraction (57%), then diapers (12%), followed by plastic (8%), cardboard (3%) and paper (2%). The amounts of textile, diapers and plastics were highest in the lowest income group, while tetra packs, metal, paper and yard waste were maximum in the high income group. It is concluded that the high income group generated the highest amount of waste and waste generation rate is higher in the seasons of spring and winter compared to the other two seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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Open AccessArticle Representations of Food Waste in Reality Food Television: An Exploratory Analysis of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1139; doi:10.3390/su9071139
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Food waste is a global issue with serious economic and environmental implications. Although a number of psychosocial and cultural factors have been identified, little attention has been paid to how food waste is culturally presented, circulated, and mediated. In this exploratory study, we
[...] Read more.
Food waste is a global issue with serious economic and environmental implications. Although a number of psychosocial and cultural factors have been identified, little attention has been paid to how food waste is culturally presented, circulated, and mediated. In this exploratory study, we consider how food waste is presented in the thriving genre of reality food television. Specifically, we conducted a content and discourse analysis of UK television programme, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (RKN). We found that visual and discursive references to food waste are associated with business, food, and personal incompetency in RKN. Furthermore, food handling was constructed as a moral issue. In RKN, food waste is not resolved via specific educational interventions for food waste prevention, but through attention to broader personal, business, and food incompetencies, which are value-laden and morally relevant. We discuss the symbolic dimensions of the transformation of food into food waste by drawing on Mary Douglas’ ideas of matter out of place. We suggest that food waste research and behavior change could benefit from addressing personal, professional, and moral competencies which may not be directly related to food, but which may reduce food waste. Our analysis of food waste in a televised environment extends waste research in specific geographical locations and spatial contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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