Recycling (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)



An overview of recycling as an activity and a process, following different materials through the waste stream.

Is there a point to recycling? Is recycling even good for the environment? On this volume within the MIT Press Crucial Knowledge series, Finn Arne Jørgensen answers (drumroll, please): it depends. From a technical viewpoint, recycling is a series of processes―collecting, sorting, processing, manufacturing. Recycling also has a cultural component; at its core, recycling is about transformation and value, turning material waste into something useful―plastic bags into patio furniture, plastic bottles into T-shirts. Jørgensen offers an accessible and engaging overview of recycling as an activity and as a process on the intersection of the material and the ideological.

Jørgensen follows a series of materials as they move backward and forward between producer and consumer, continually transforming in form and value, in a never-ceasing journey toward becoming waste. He considers organic waste and cultural contamination; the history of recyclable writing surfaces from papyrus to newsprint; discarded clothing as it moves from the the Global North to the Global South; the shifting fate of glass bottles; the efficiency of aluminum recycling; the many sorts of plastic and the difficulties of informed consumer choice; e-waste and technological obsolescence; and industrial waste. After all, re-asking the question posed by John Tierney in an infamous 1996 New York Times article, “is recycling garbage?” Jørgensen argues that recycling is vital―as both symbolic action and physical activity that has a tangible effect on the true world.

[amz_corss_sell asin=”0262537826″]

Additional information




EAN List


Item Dimensions




Number Of Pages

Product Group

Publication Date


Release Date



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Recycling (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *