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Stadens sopor: Tillvaratagande, förbränning och tippning i Stockholm 1900-1975
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The garbage of the city : Resource recovery, incineration and dumping in Stockholm 1900-1975 (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with perceptions of refuse as an asset or as a liability and the questions of waste management practices. The aim has been to gain new insights into Stockholm’s waste management in the period 1900–1975 by studying change and continuity in municipal practices and the notions that governed the municipal actors’ actions. The central questions are what factors determined the city’s waste management, and how an urban and local (environmental) problem was formulated and addressed by local authorities and political bodies. In answering, I have applied a theory of inertia in large technical–administrative systems and an analytical framework based on the concept of waste management regimes.

During the period a resource recovery regime was replaced by an incineration regime. At the turn of the last century, the quantity and type of refuse produced by Stockholm’s rising population was compounded by increasing consumption. In order to modernize the capital’s waste disposal the city invested in resource recovery by introducing source separation. The fall in demand for fertilizer and a changing composition of the waste in the 1920s made it more difficult to get rid of refuse and led to an end of waste separation. Incineration came to be seen as the modern option and in 1938 Sweden’s first modern incineration plant for municipal waste was built outside Stockholm.

The amount of waste produced by Stockholm nearly tripled between 1922, when it was at its lowest levels, and the mid-1960s. The late 1960s saw an even more dramatic increase. In the 1960s waste was discussed as an important environmental issue and in the 1970s recycling was implemented in small scale. At the national level recycling was adopted as a waste management aim in 1975.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2014. , 320 p.
Keyword [en]
waste management regime, resource recovery, incineration, urban history, environmental history, Stockholm
Keyword [sv]
avfall, tillvaratagande, förbränning, urbanhistoria, miljöhistoria, Stockholm
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106836ISBN: 978-91-87675-08-9OAI: diva2:740367
Public defence
2014-10-03, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-09-11 Created: 2014-08-25 Last updated: 2015-05-28Bibliographically approved

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Sjöstrand, Ylva S.
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