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Publication details for Professor Harriet Bulkeley

Bulkeley, H. & Gregson, N. (2009). Crossing the threshold: municipal waste policy and household waste generation. Environment and Planning A 41(4): 929-945.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper connects research on home-based consumption with research on waste policy and governance. We argue that, in order to meet the enhanced goals of waste reduction specified in Waste Strategy for England 2007, UK municipal waste policy needs a far closer engagement with the household, the primary unit of consumption. Opening-up the ‘black box’ of the household, we show why the potential for achieving enhanced rates of materials diversion through recycling is limited in certain neighbourhoods. We demonstrate the potential for furthering waste reduction through the intensification of existing practices with the ‘arts of transience’, and by engaging with the lumpiness of household-waste generation. The paper considers the policy implications of these findings and offers a number of suggestions as to how such insights might be taken up within UK municipal waste policy.