disposal rituals


In your daily rituals of waste disposal, do any objects stand out as more challenging to dispose of than others? In what way are they challenging? Are you cognizant of what about these objects (as opposed to others) makes them more difficult to dispose of, and does that thinking weigh on you at all in your decision to purchase or use such products in the first place?

This box for “lampen” and “batterijen” was spotted in the entryway of an Amsterdam grocery store. According to the website (if you follow the web address on the box), there are over 24,000 such points across the country, managed by “Stibat” – the self-described “organization that coordinates the collection activities of used batteries in the Netherlands”.

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Combining the ability to dispose of two things that would otherwise be somehow harmful to dispose of in the more “conventional” way, the presence of this box also explicitly states the importance (at least for governments/citizens in this context) of properly disposing of these two objects and the important role these disposal rituals play in this context, as this box occupies a dedicated space in a high-traffic/high-visibility area. How might this model (and people’s behaviors) change in rural Netherlands, with lower density and fewer shops?

What sets these tightly prescribed disposal rituals apart from other contexts (like Myanmar and China) that value and approach the disposal of depleted batteries in their own ways (like repurposing)?

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