Discard studies have demonstrated that waste is more than just a symptom of an all-too-human demand for meaning or a merely technical problem for sanitary engineers and public health officials. The afterlife of waste materials and processes of waste management reveal the centrality of transient and discarded things for questions of materiality and ontology and marginal and polluting labor and environmental justice movements, as well as for critiques of the exploitation and deferred promises of modernity and imperial formations. There is yet more waste will tell us, especially as more studies continue to document the many ways that our wastes are not only our problem, but become entangled with the lives of nonhuman creatures and the future of the planet we share.


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