Skip to Main content

Social metabolism, cost-shifting and conflicts. The struggles and services of informal waste recyclers in India

By: Federico Demaria.

Supervisors: Dr. Giorgos Kallis, Dr. Joan Martinez Alier, Dr. Giuseppe Munda


This thesis contributes to our understanding of social metabolism, and more precisely waste in social metabolism. First, I shed light in particular on the relationship between social metabolism and conflict, looking from a situated political ecology perspective, at how differences in the structure and nature of particular social metabolisms create different conflict dynamics. Second, I look at an often forgotten but very important part of social metabolism which is the informal recycling of waste. I evaluate the contribution of informal recycling, and I investigate how power influences the social relations of production (or recycling), and how these shift costs to informal recyclers. Then, I make a case for the recognition of the important contribution of informal recyclers in making social metabolism more circular, and I call for due compensation of the services they provide, instead of a dispossession from their means of production, and a shifting of social costs of enterprises and consumers to them. My case studies present a range of experiences, mostly in India, to inform theory on how environments are shaped, politicized and contested.



One comment

  1. Just don’t forget characters sport thick jumpers with patterned designs.
    I mean, in the time, come on, around 25 years great for career.
    The singer of ‘Drive’ and ‘Just What I Needed’ expired in year