Extractivism, Value and Waste:Organizational Mining of e-Waste in the United Kingdom

Stowell, Alison Frances and Brigham, Martin Patrick (2018) Extractivism, Value and Waste:Organizational Mining of e-Waste in the United Kingdom. Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa, 2018 (1). pp. 75-95.

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Abstract

In this paper we critically evaluate the mining and extraction of e-waste – electronic waste – and the relationship with the emerging cleaner and greener economy. Drawing on ethnographic data, gathered from an e-waste management organization – e-WasteOrg, we show how e-waste and value are assembled, extracted and circulated within local, national and global contexts. To date little attention has been paid to interdependent systems of waste and value. We argue that e-WasteOrg operates polyphonically in order to secure, routinize and circulate the ongoing disposal of e-waste. Extracting waste becomes associated with a range of differentiated value systems, as sourcing and valuing waste is a continual concern for those in the waste management sector. As more waste is sought, we conclude that a cleaner and greener economy is both constricting in terms of new market entrants and expanding as waste management actors mine for materials across value systems. Keywords: e-waste, extractivism, mining, value, waste, green economy, circular economy

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/aacsb/disciplinebasedresearch
Subjects:
ID Code:
124492
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Apr 2018 10:00
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
27 Nov 2020 04:12