Tackling waste in Scotland: Incineration, business and politics vs community activism
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Mackay, J. (2019) Tackling waste in Scotland: Incineration, business and politics vs community activism. In: Harley, A. & Scandrett, E. (eds.) Environmental Justice, Popular Struggle and Community Development. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 69-82.
This chapter discusses the factors leading to a breakdown in community waste activism and the defeat of anti-incineration against the developments of ‘Energy From Waste’ and incineration technologies in Scotland. This is an attempt to understand how community action on waste lost momentum within the bigger picture of tackling waste and its impact on climate change. It also looks at the goal of ‘zero waste’ and how it was hijacked by vested interests. At a time when community recycling was at its highest popularity, waste industry businesses produced the new generation of waste disposal facilities, incinerators, which recover the energy released from burning waste. At the same time, a number of policy initiatives, under the influence of industry lobbying, were directing efforts away from community work and towards industry. These events stimulated intense but short lived community struggles against incineration and the demise of community waste initiatives.