Challenging the 'refuse revolution': war, waste and the rediscovery of recycling, 1900–50

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Challenging the 'refuse revolution': war, waste and the rediscovery of recycling, 1900–50

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dc.contributor.author Cooper, Timothy en_GB
dc.contributor.department University of Exeter. At the time of publication, the author was at the University of St Andrews en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-29T13:13:13Z en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-25T10:52:52Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-20T14:11:19Z
dc.date.issued 2007-07-19 en_GB
dc.description.abstract This article argues that the experiences of war played an important role in reshaping the social practices of waste disposal between 1900 and 1950. Before 1914 recycling was declining in the face of the challenge presented by the emerging culture of hygiene and the introduction of incinerator technology. This decline was partially reversed between 1914 and 1945 by the wartime imperative to utilize resources efficiently. The need to preserve both valuable shipping space and foreign currency reserves compelled wartime governments to seek stricter recycling measures from local authorities. One consequence of this was that waste management professionals, whose duties had previously been confined to the maintenance of the public health, suddenly reconstituted themselves as experts in resource management. In turn they transformed their attitude to waste, developing new salvage technologies that promised to increase levels of reuse and recycling. During this period there emerged a brief challenge to the nascent throwaway society. However, wartime salvage efforts did not prosper with the removal of the campaign for national survival. Even the economic problems of the late nineteen-forties proved insufficient to maintain the level of recycling without the drive provided by patriotism and Britain quickly slipped back into a throwaway culture. en_GB
dc.description.sponsorship AHRC en_GB
dc.identifier.doi doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.2007.00420.x en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/28893 en_GB
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher Blackwell Publishing en_GB
dc.relation.url http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0950-3471&site=1 en_GB
dc.relation.url http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-2281.2007.00420.x en_GB
dc.subject environmental history en_GB
dc.subject recycling en_GB
dc.subject waste en_GB
dc.subject salvage en_GB
dc.subject First World War en_GB
dc.subject Second World War en_GB
dc.title Challenging the 'refuse revolution': war, waste and the rediscovery of recycling, 1900–50 en_GB
dc.type Article en_GB
dc.date.available 2008-05-29T13:13:13Z en_GB
dc.date.available 2011-01-25T10:52:52Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-20T14:11:19Z
pubs.declined 2012-12-04T13:12:50.544+0000 en_US
dc.description © Institute of Historical Research 2007. Published in the journal's 'OnlineEarly' section. This is the post-print version. The definitive version is available free online in post-publication format at www.blackwell-synergy.com. 24 month embargo by the publisher. Article will be released 19 July 2009 en_GB
dc.identifier.journal Historical Research en_GB


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