It is simply what the owner sees no benefit or value in its’ continued possession and therefore discards it. While the items no longer wanted is an individual decision, there are a myriad of micro and macro…
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bish in terms of what the owner throws out regardless of its’ utility to others, the amount of rubbish produced tends to increase as the affluence of that society rises. For example, this is true of the UK since the 1950s and probably also of most other developed nations (Brown 107) Fortunately in the last few years an increasing amount of this rubbish is recycled or turned into compost so that the rate of increase in other rubbish deposited in landfills or incinerated is beginning to fall, slowing the increase in pollution from toxic gasses resulting from there processes. However sociologists have labeled affluent societies of the developed world as consumer societies since this affluence has stimulated the manufacture and purchase of an enormous quantity and variety of consumer products many of which soon become obsolescent as new models replace the older ones. All of this is increasing the volume of stuff discarded as rubbish especially in developed countries to the point that some scientists have calculated that the earth is producing rubbish at a faster rate than it can replenish its’ natural resources ( Brown 115-116) This highlights the importance of reducing the volume of rubbish production and recycling what is produced as much as possible so that it doesn’t eventually “choke” the life out of the planet. One must remember “ one ma’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”. For example, homeless people often search dumpsters for discarded scrap metal to use in the construction of makeshift shelters or to sell to recycle firms for a little cash. Although this is probably not their intention, this environmentally friendly activity in a small way helps the recycling process and reduces rubbish. Over time the same item can be devalued as rubbish and then become valuable again as Thompson described in his “Rubbish Theory” discussed below. (Brown 122-132)
Michael Thompson in his book “Rubbish Theory The Creation and Destruction of Value
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Recycling the Household Rubbish Statistics report produced in England in2003-04 by Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (2005) shows that the municipal waste amounts about 29 million tons in which 87% was household waste. Although there are many imperative environmental problems that the world faces today, the most critical problem among them is the apathetic attitude towards recycling household rubbish.
It is an inevitable activity for survival which can transform from a fundamental necessity to a capricious luxury. Social scientists suggest that the things an individual or a group purchase in a way defines who they are and determines their personality and lifestyle (Hetherington, 2009, p.28).
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