Garbage matters: Concepts in new geographies of waste

The article, by Sarah Moore, uses a schematic diagram to show all of her readers that waste is important to everyone, and that it defies our classic categorical logic. It doe not easily fit in one category or another category because it is viewed by people who have both or either a first or third party experience with garbage. Moore does a good job at categorizing the four main ways in which people think about garbage, and how we think about it dictates how we act towards it.

Moore categorizes garbage into the four categories depicted on her schematic diagram including conceptual approaches in positive relational, positive dualist, negative dualist, and relational dualist. All of which she goes into much greater depth describing individual characteristics of each quadrant in her schematic diagram. Bellow are the overall quadrant meanings or the way in which she separated each group from the other.

Positive Dualist- garbage is thought of as a hazard or largely external to society

Negative Dualist- garbage is referred to as “out of Place” and “disorder”

Positive Relational- garbage is discussed here to mean “filthy” or “disgusting”

Negative Relational- garbage is defined as something that is “invaluable” and “undefinable”

Moore is unique in her approach to garbage because she uses social science research on garbage to make connections between politics, and research on converging and diverging notions on garbage in modern society. How the way in which people view garbage varies greatly, and due to the increased work on waste and waste disposal is becoming more important. As populations are growing and expanding their footprints over more and more land, there are fewer and fewer places for garbage to be disposed of or dumped in areas that are not near suburban housing developments, cities, and urban housing developments.

-Ashley Tims

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