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The Business of Waste
Great Britain and Germany, 1945 to the Present

$125.00 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107027213

$ 125.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The advent of consumer societies in the United Kingdom and West Germany after 1945 led to the mass “production” of garbage. This book compares the social, cultural, and economic fallout of the growing volume and changing composition of waste in the two countries from 1945 to the present through sustained attention to changes in the business of handling household waste. Though the UK and Germany are similar in population density, degrees of urbanization, and standardization, the two countries took profoundly different paths from low-waste to throwaway societies, and more recently, toward the goal of “zero-waste.” The authors explore evolving balances between public and private provision in waste services; the transformation of public cleansing into waste management; the role of government legislation and regulation; emerging conceptualizations of recycling and resource recovery; and the gradual shift of the industry's regulatory and business context from local to national and then to international.

    • Combines business history with environmental history
    • Covers post-World War II period from 1945 to the present
    • Comparative history with policy implications
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The Business of Waste presents a penetrating and deeply researched interdisciplinary study of the changing dimensions of waste management in Great Britain and Germany from 1945 to the present. The authors’ detailed examination of the history strongly supports their conclusion that successful waste management policy requires cooperation between the private, public, and third sectors and the prioritization of social and political values over narrow economic ones."
    Joel A. Tarr, Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

    "A must-read for both business and environmental historians, this book is an impressively innovative study of an important and badly neglected subject. Comparative history at its very best."
    Geoffrey Jones, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard Business School

    "The Business of Waste advances our understanding of the history of waste management in the United Kingdom and Germany in the postwar period. Stokes, Köster, and Sambrook give systematic attention to how municipal refuse and salvage operations evolved in both nations. This book is an important comparative history on waste management and valuable context for the success of zero-waste initiatives."
    Carl A. Zimring, Associate Professor of Sustainability Studies, Pratt Institute

    "[The authors] not only add a much-needed business historical perspective to a debate that is picking up speed in European history. They also deliver a valuable and exciting study that spans two countries and their histories of handling the problem of waste from the end of the Second World War until today."
    Sebastian Teupe, H-Soz-u-Kult

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107027213
    • length: 343 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Cleansing Services, 1945 to the 1960s: From Societies of Want to Societies of Purity:
    1. Establishing (and re-establishing) an industry: waste services in the UK and Germany from the late nineteenth century to the 1950s
    2. Rationalization measures
    3. 'Salvage' and the industry
    Part II. Grappling with Crisis: From the 1960s to 1980:
    4. The waste flood
    5. Politicizing waste: national and regional legislation and political activism
    6. Coping with the crisis
    Part III. Re-conceptualizing Waste and Conceptualizing Waste Management, 1980 to the Present:
    7. Framing waste: measurement, regulation, and legislation in the 1980s
    8. The waste management industry since 1990.

  • Authors

    Raymond G. Stokes, University of Glasgow
    Raymond G. Stokes is Professor of Business History at the University of Glasgow and Director of the Centre for Business History in Scotland.

    Roman Köster, Universität der Bundeswehr München
    Roman Köster is Assistant Professor of Economic and Social History at Bundeswehr University, Munich.

    Stephen C. Sambrook, University of Glasgow
    Stephen C. Sambrook is Research Associate at the Centre for Business History in Scotland at the University of Glasgow.

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