The impact of solid waste collection technologies on the marginalization of informal recyclers. A case study of the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Authors: Dare Adeyemi*, University of Calgary
Topics: Urban Geography, Sustainability Science, Canada
Keywords: Socio-Spatial exclusion, Informal Waste Pickers, Waste Collection Technologies, Sustainable Waste Management, Critical Theory of Technology, Calgary.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8223, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Informal waste pickers generally suffer from marginalization despite their contribution to the sustainable management of environment and waste in cities. In this paper, I discuss the findings of my ongoing study of the exclusion of informal recyclers in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Multiple research suggests that the exclusion of informal waste actors is a result of bad administrative policies and public stigmatization. However, less effort has gone into conceptualizing the role that solid waste collection technologies play in their existence, marginalization, and resiliency. My research explores this gap by using a qualitative case study to assess the impact of solid waste collection technologies on the socio-spatial exclusion of informal waste recyclers in Calgary. I draw on Feenberg's Critical Theory of Technology to reveal the power struggle and impacts of various solid waste collection programs and policies adopted in the city of Calgary. By doing so, my research provides an alternative explanation to the dominant instrumental notion of urban solid waste collection system and technologies and it gives more attention to informal waste pickers in the global north.

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