• Agents of Change

    • Collective responsibility is undoubtedly on the rise alongside urban concentration.

    Tracing the route and destiny of city waste / 

    Recent studies have discovered that the waste from cities, from garbage to sewage, often end up in places that are very far away from the place they were generated, and in the worst cases, end up in developing countries. Because of this, the attention focused on this this phenomenon has acquired a particular type of importance within urban regeneration projects, as was the case of MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, whose efforts are focused on this aspect.

    Among the projects supported by SENSEable City Lab, we can find the so-called 6000km by the Basurama Organisation, which uses photographs, texts and other formats to document the places where rubbish is created, managed, manipulated and negotiated. The organisation describes the project as “Investigating the inheritance from the housing, economic and productive euphoria period, from the effects caused by urbanisation to the waste and forgotten places that have allowed them to be like that”. In turn, Trashpatch worked with Basurama in New York to give tours through the different sectors of the city, outlining its waste routes. Through this practice they were able to show that the city’s waste is gathered in natural locations outside the city.

    According to participants, visiting those places is essential to educate people, in order to dimension the repercussion of our daily consumption, as well as being a way to confirm that the waste crisis is a shared responsibility for all the cities’ inhabitants.

    We know consider waste to be a potential source of energy, at times even using the waste from other places. In Oslo for example, at least half the city and most schools already use heat produced by garbage gasses, the waste is collected from England, Ireland and Sweden, using industrial plants that transform the residues into electric and heat energy.

    The best usage of garbage is a fundamental aspect for the future of urban spaces. In this sense tracing waste might be the beginning of a greater and more profitable relation to our own waste. 

    Tagged: garbage, environment, Agents of Change, SENSEable City Lab, Basurama