Considering ‘Waste Value’ in the Circular Economy

CHERRIER, H., TÜRE, M., & OZCAGLAR-TOULOUSE, N. (2018). Published in Robert Crocker, Christopher Saint, Guanyi Chen, Yindong Tong (ed.) Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy, 91 – 102.

Designing and manufacturing long-lasting things and minimizing the use of material resources are central concerns to the circular economy. Yet, repairing and repurposing objects, and the experiences and knowledge of those who extend the life of objects at the consumption level, are absent from discussions on the circular economy. Based on in-depth interviews focussing on practices of repair and repurposing within households, this article interrogates waste and its capacity to disturb, impede or provoke practices central to the circular economy. Re-considering waste within discussions on the circular economy is a way to bring to the surface the overlooked capacity of waste to enable or hinder household engagement in practices of repair and repurposing through waste’s heterogeneous and shifting components, sacredness and morality.