- organic waste segregation,
- Social Practice Theory,
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Copyright (c) 2023 The Author(s)
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Organic waste is both a refuse and a resource. Focusing on household waste in a city in Western Switzerland, this study examines the practices of waste segregation in relation to the city’s (organic) waste management system. Based on qualitative research with diverse households and experts in waste management, we use social practice theory to discuss the meanings and materiality of household organic waste segregation. We show how more or less visible meanings, tied up with material arrangements, can be either enablers or deterrents for such forms of waste management.
The article argues that certain aspects of the waste system could be rendered more visible, such as the proper labelling of collection bins, while less visibility could be given to certain meanings around waste segregation, such as the financial cost of not sorting. We also discuss how organic waste sorting, as a practice, contests the dominant understandings of change based on technological efficiency, economic benefits, and individual changes. More collective forms of change are needed, working at the level of social contexts and materiality, to further support organic waste sorting.