THE WASTE LAND is an artistic representation of hundred days of everyday waste. The project starts with collecting, documenting, and recycling personal household waste during the first 100 days of 2022. The process is developing along the thread of self-awareness, and it is fleeting in multiple pieces of waste on a day-to-day basis. The awareness of “environmental protection” becomes concrete when the micro-level actions are required. The project seeks different art forms to present the results by diving into the documentation – photographs, videos, physical items of waste, sorted pictures, interactive installations. Meanwhile, through AI technology, the project explores a possible timeline for future waste predictions.
But inside the square-mile slum, made famous in the movie "Slumdog Millionaire," is a bustling micro-economy filled with industry and commerce that generates some $665 million per year, according to Reality Gives, a non-profit that runs tours of Dharavi and uses the money to run community centers and classes for its 1 million residents. The workers and residents of Dharavi export leather goods, suitcases, baked goods, textiles, stoves, and an array of other products into the broader Indian economy.
The 13th Compound is at the heart of Dharavi’s recycling industry. An estimated 80% of Mumbai’s plastic waste is recycled in the slum, in some 15,000 single-room factories.
Over the years, Dharavi dwellers have created an industrial economy in Mumbai, creating employment opportunities for the recycling of Mumbai’s waste, an undertaking that arguably should be addressed by local councils.
The linear ‘take, make, use, and dispose’ economy is driving the climate emergency. Extraction and processing of natural resources make up half of the total global greenhouse gas emissions and over 90% of water stress and biodiversity loss impact, according to the International Resource Panel. Product re-use and repair are the building blocks of circular economy, which can contribute to climate change mitigation by preventing resource depletion, diverting products and materials from landfills and incineration (therefore preventing associated emissions), and reducing energy demand.
Pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change have all resulted from current lifestyles. Reversing course and getting people to act sustainably requires more than information, technology and new laws, particularly when change is in the hands of individuals. This is why Behaven works with governments and businesses to harness the power of behavioural science to make people actors of sustainability, and encourage the behaviours that benefit society and the planet the most.
MARR’s mission is to challenge the perception of waste culture by providing a unique platform for artists at the intersection of art, community, and waste systems. The Moab area is highly impacted by the tourism industry and, as a result, waste management. By facilitating artists’ direct engagement with the waste stream, MARR encourages resident artists to consider their studio practice through the lens of sustainability and to thoughtfully re-assess their processes of material sourcing and waste disposal.
Through a 4-week residency, the program offers artists studio space, project and community facilitation, a stipend, access to materials at local waste disposal sites, and the time and space to focus solely on their art. As a component of each residency, artists spend time providing opportunities for learning, dialog and enrichment within the community.
Preventing waste generation, especially non-recyclable waste, would deliver the greatest benefits for the environment. The reduction in waste needed to meet the target would require very ambitious waste prevention measures to be implemented at both EU and Member State levels, for instance by increasing the lifespan of consumer goods and ensuring strong support for product reuse.
The current regulation of emissions of pollutants by incineration being extremely limited and not representative of real emissions.
To assess the real impact of waste incineration emissions, Zero Waste Europe and like-minded organisations are carrying out biomonitoring research on incineration emissions across Europe.
This short video explains the ins and outs of our research in a quick, user-friendly way.
In other words, waste generated by Western imperialism or produced for the comfort and consumption of privileged white people ends up being dumped on racialized people, either at home in impoverished racialized neighborhoods, or in the countries of the Global South.
An Introduction to the Labours of Repair and Maintenance in South Asia
Waste is fundamentally crucial to environmental discourse both in physical and digital domains. It contains the value, usage, and temporality of things, although many are unaware of how much these phygital wastes contribute to the climate catastrophe. Just from our daily lives, we are in situations that contribute to carbon emissions generated through our devices and internet use. In contrast, other parts of the world, such as Nairobi, the subject of KMRU’s piece, are battling with tactile wastes, surrounded by landfills affecting communities and the life of humans and other species. waste(s) (2021, 15:48 min) seeks to reflect on the concept of pollution. It asks: How is waste created? What happens when waste is thought of in different ways, and can waste be a source? To create the piece, KMRU collaged field recordings of waste(d) spaces, electromagnetic sounds of social media sites, and the digital debris of trashed and recycled audio fragments into new compositions. A juxtaposition between the digital-physical concept of waste, waste(s) is recontextualized as an artistic resource for real and imagined pollutions.
You sort your recycling, leave it to be collected – and then what? From councils burning the lot to foreign landfill sites overflowing with British rubbish, Oliver Franklin-Wallis reports on a global waste crisis
GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in over 90 countries whose ultimate vision is a just, toxic-free world without incineration.
This research explores the disruption of centralised waste facilities to accommodate a decentralised model, known as the mini-MRF, that is capable of extracting more value out of waste streams. Centralised facilities possess a hoax of challenges, be it their complex infrastructure or high capital and operational costs. With that said, existing systems characterise an unsustainable solution for long-term waste management, and a worthy solution to these issues is crucial for effective management of our planet’s resources.
Makery: What was your first impression when you entered the bowels of this processing plant?
Stefan Shankland: The sheer scale of everything. The orders of magnitude here are monumental, gargantuan, in terms of both spaces and quantities. More than 700,000 tons of waste are processed each year, 100 tons are incinerated each day. This waste is ours—mine accumulated with 1.5 million other residents’ waste. It makes you acutely aware of how much garbage we produce collectively without realizing it. Through this visual, physical, spatial experience, we enter the imagination and the representation of what we produce as a society, or even as humanity.
In your video pieces, the workers are barely represented, or else they are played by dancers who seem to be imitating machines. Are the workers invisible in this world of scrap metal?
This is another aspect that struck me during my first visits. You enter an enormous site that processes waste from 1.5 million residents, but you don’t see anyone. You might see three people working in an office, and there’s a series of trucks that come in, but nobody gets out of them. They dump the waste in the pit, and then they leave. You don’t run into any humans, it’s something very mechanical.
Occasionally you do meet workers, mostly men. But they have a difficult relationship with their professional image. When it comes to the popular image of their profession, there is a kind of shame associated with garbage. The workers don’t voluntarily expose themselves as working in a waste processing plant. We always respected their right to privacy.
A data standard for reporting data about Household Waste Recycling Centres
The chatarreros are Barcelona’s itinerant scrap-metal collectors, and there are thousands of them. Most are undocumented migrants and so there is no official census, but Federico Demaria, a social scientist at the University of Barcelona who is conducting a study of the informal recyclers in Catalonia, believes there are between 50,000 and 100,000 in the region. About half are from sub-Saharan Africa; the rest are from eastern Europe, elsewhere in Africa and Spain.
Behind the high walls on the outskirts of Cairo is a mostly Coptic Christian community, known as the Zabaleen - a derogatory term for garbage men.
Settling in an abandoned quarry, they became the informal waste disposal experts of the city in the 70s, collecting rubbish from the capital's streets for free and bringing it back to their homes to recycle it.
Sorting is done by hand - the plastics are separated from the cardboard, the clothes from the organic waste, before they're sold on to the next layer of the community's refuse economy.
Hoje em dia, a indústria do lixo é considerada a mais propensa a lavagens de dinheiro. E tudo isso devido ao fato de ter emergido uma economia clandestina, a partir do empreendedorismo da Camorra, a máfia napolitana.
A maneira como a Camorra se apropriou do negócio do lixo está bem descrito pelo jornalista Roberto Salviani no livro “Gomorra”, que narra as entranhas do crime organizado italiano. E permite entender os passos da nova política ambiental brasileira, implementada pelo Ministro do Meio Ambiente Ricardo Salles.
Com as exigências ambientais, a reciclagem do lixo, especialmente dos materiais tóxicos, tornou-se bastante onerosa, se tratado corretamente. A máfia passou então a entrar no negócio através de empresas-mãe, cercadas por um arquipélago de stakeholders, formalmente independentes, incumbidos de dar um fim ao lixo, despejando, enterrando ou transportando para locais distantes. Eles trabalham para várias famílias, sem exclusividade. Quando estoura algum escândalo, as famílias ficam blindadas.