The construction of 'waste' in the UK steel industry

Article


MacKillop, Fionn. 2009. "The construction of 'waste' in the UK steel industry." Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 52 (2), pp. 177-194. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640560802666529
Article Title

The construction of 'waste' in the UK steel industry

ERA Journal ID5852
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorMacKillop, Fionn
Journal TitleJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Journal Citation52 (2), pp. 177-194
Number of Pages18
Year2009
Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
ISSN0964-0568
1360-0559
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09640560802666529
Abstract

The steel industry has undergone profound changes of late with high profile takeovers (Tata-Corus and Mittal-Arcelor) that are part of a shift of the industry from the global North to the global South. Steel is probably the material of the globalised world with its icons and power horses (the aeroplane, the cargo ship, the automobile), it is extremely flexible in its applications, and fits into the current discourse on 'sustainability' because it is 'recyclable'. Indeed, the industry is keen to stress its 'green' credentials and efficient management of material flows in a context of rising costs, particularly of raw materials. Paradoxically, steel tends to be seen, not least by the social sciences, as an 'old-fashioned' and 'dirty' industry. This paper explores this apparent paradox through the issue of 'waste' management in the industry because it allows an analysis of the multi- dimensional relationships between materials, technologies and practices. Drawing on the resources of social as well as material sciences, the paper analyses to what extent 'waste' management is an issue of objective material properties, in contrast to social and organisational perceptions and practices around materials.

Keywordssteel; waste; governmentality; hybrid; Science, Technology and Society (STS); social construction
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350799. Strategy, management and organisational behaviour not elsewhere classified
449999. Other human society not elsewhere classified
410404. Environmental management
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Byline AffiliationsDurham University, United Kingdom
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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