1932

Abstract

We outline the frameworks that shape and hold apart waste debates in and about the Global North and Global South and that hinder analysis of flows between them. Typically, waste is addressed as municipal waste, resulting in a focus on domestic consumption and urban governance and an emphasis on cities and the national scale. The prevailing ways of addressing the increasingly global flows of wastes between the North and South are those of global environmental justice and are underpinned by the geographical imagination encoded in the Basel Convention. New research on the trades in used goods and recycling in lower income countries challenges these accounts. It shows that arguments about dumping on the South need revision. Wastes are secondary resources for lower income countries, harvesting them is a significant economic activity, and consequent resource recovery is a key part of the global economy. Four areas for future research are identified: () changing patterns of global harvesting, () attempts to rescale resource recovery and the challenges faced, () the geopolitics of resource recovery, and () changes in resource recovery in lower income countries.

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An erratum has been published for this article:
From Waste to Resource: The Trade in Wastes and Global Recycling Economies
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2015-11-04
2024-05-24
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