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Environmental Values

Governing Household Waste Management: An Empirical Analysis and Critique

Scott Cameron Lougheed, Myra J. Hird and Kerry R. Rowe

Environmental Values 25 (2016): 287-308. doi: 10.3197/096327116X14598445991420

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We conducted a survey of residents of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, (n = 107) to understand their attitudes to and experiences of waste management and governance. Currently, the municipality is emphasising waste diversion and exploring new waste processing systems (WPS; e.g., incineration) to reduce costs. Using Foucault's governmentality theory, our data suggest Kingston's reliance on an attitude-behaviour-context model of behaviour change successfully fosters an environmental citizenship identity based on waste diversion (e.g., recycling). However, we argue that the neoliberal governmentality upon which the attitude-behaviour-context model is predicated elides the need for, and inhibits consideration of, broader societal change concerning urgent environmental issues involving consumption and waste.


Governmentality, waste management, environmental citizenship, politics.

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Social Ecological Transformation and the Individual. Clive L. Spash

The Naturalisation of Growth: Marx, the Regulation Approach and Bourdieu.Max Koch

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