Waste management proves a profitable business
7th August, 2008
Martin O'Brien investigates how waste management has become a lucrative business.
Not everything that Dick predicted has come to pass, but, as with all good science fiction, the most illuminating parts of Dick’s story concern his reflections on the present rather than the accuracy of his divinations. In Dick’s world of 2012, waste management is a central, rather than peripheral, dimension of urban and rural existence; something that affects every individual on the planet in the most direct and immediate way imaginable. In the world of 2008, this is already a reality.
Of course, there are different ways in which Dick’s waste management prophecy might have played out. ‘Ownership’ of waste management might have been placed with its producers; with local or central government; regions or communities; with families or individuals; with co-operatives. The economic consequences of waste management might have been shared on principles of social equity, so that the poorest constituencies do not face the highest costs. The technological and operational characteristics of waste management might have been devised to emphasise useful employment, local control, community renewal and/or energy and resource efficiency.
What we have, in fact, are massive contracts with...
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