The story of the fate of the waste is rapidly rewriting. The pages of history are a landmark in the process of joining the archives of a social order in agony. Gradually, the emerging contours of a vast fresco which ecological recycling becomes a recurring hero.

The historical version presented trash as an end of cycle and, worse, like dirt. The waste was the final phase of the state of matter before the nothingness. The consumer goods created a time value: that of the enjoyment of the object, which included the possession time of use but also the time of purchase. Distinction, recognition, marking the object to ostentatious consumption of which had nothing to do with leftovers otherwise dispose of the garbage collectors, the car breaks or landfills. The remains were to be evacuated from the normal environment for the twofold reason of hygiene and aesthetics. The decay threatening its own seeds of civilization, brilliance and fragrance. It was a hedge against ugliness in a society where the sharpness settings connoted the white consciences. The aesthetics of disappearance vied with the pragmatics of the disinfection. The term most negative of the lexicon of scavenging, was one of filth, including viscosity, smell, bordered on the dangerous excrement, relegating those who undertook the thankless task of this pariah status. Pick up trash that was not a job but were threatened with the forfeiture dunce.

This story was written in the great drama of Western progress, typical of a world that is moving forward, backed by science and reason, goddesses of a society that does not turn to see what she left behind.

Since the story took shape ecological and gained early recognition of social waste has changed status: stinking filth, he became a coveted object. It is not the end of the cycle of consumption but rather one of its critical stages.

They now have much intelligence to reprocess waste to produce the object that he is the trace of use. Recycling product value and the waste becomes a raw material or capital. The investment in the reinvestment of used objects, generates a lexicon that revises the partition of the common good.

The reuse of command objects transverse to an intelligence production systems, though with certain products can be manufactured identically, with others it opens the field of possibilities, such as plastic bottles into clothing. Waste disposal includes job descriptions of the recycling business. Thus, the bulky objects that are meant only for their negative, enter into new arrangements of urban regulation. For example, throwing off the river transport roads. In another development, the bulky placed on the curb prior to pickup, inspire new sociability. The scavengers of the old order are replaced by urban gleaners, recycling objects that abound the stage for future domestic or flea markets.

Capital waste emerges. The investment in the reinvestment prosperous. The fight against the greenhouse effect, melting the poles, the desertification of farmland, fertile, there is still some time, are the main characters of “Human Comedy, urban and environmental policy” that is to write. The recycling of waste is not a secondary character, and probably several volumes devoted to it.

Alain Vulbeau sociologist, writer