The aim of the project is to investigate how efficient waste-sorting systems can be designed from a user perspective. On the basis of how people think and what they actually do, the project challenges sorting systems which are designed from the perspective of technical and professional operators. Underlying cultural concepts and categories regarding waste are investigated in order to achieve this.
Lynn Åkesson, Division of Ethnology
Status: Completed (2006–2012)
Department: Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
On the whole, people are positively inclined towards waste sorting, but there is a difference between what they think and what they actually do. Our understanding of the distinction between useless waste and valuable, usable things is based on general and culturally determined assessments and everyday habits.
The aim of this project is to investigate what is needed to make it easier for consumers to understand and participate in waste sorting. Effective systems for waste sorting and different policy instruments, such as financial means, should not contradict these assessments and habits. Moreover, waste-sorting systems are mostly set up from the perspective of technical and professional operators.
The project sets out to investigate whether there is a cognitive rift between lay people and experts with regard to waste sorting and, if so, to describe it and find out how it can be bridged.
"Sorting things out. Considering cultural categories of waste" is number 6 out of a total of 10 projects included under the main project Towards Sustainable Waste Management.
Fire in dustbin. Photo: Lynn Åkesson
Content manager: Lynn Åkesson
Page content last modified 1 Jan 2013
Last modified 11 Jan 2012
Sorting things out. Considering cultural categories of waste.
Phone +46 (0)46 222 41 29
Division of Ethnology
Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
Box 117, 221 00 LUND
Internal Post Code 59