by Benjamin Irvine.
Solid waste is often seen as an environmental problem to be solved through change of behaviour and recycling. Political ecology can sharpen our analysis of the politics involved in the way materials move through the economy. Prospects for reducing the amount of solid waste generated and ambitions for a “circular economy” will entail qualitative transformations in patterns of material flows and organisation of labour. Deciphering the shape of these changes necessarily begins in the present conditions and struggles of waste workers.