Superfluous or desirable. About waste in the culture of excess
Objects that are valuable to some people seem unnecessary and have no value to others. Where is the line between usefulness and redundancy of things? At what point does a necessary thing become waste? Trying to answer these and other questions we conducted a survey on waste‑related practices of Poles. The research focused on recreating the “life cycle” of seven selected items (milk, potatoes, table, trousers, toys, book, mobile phone) with particular emphasis on the moment when the item becomes waste. The study analysed the impact of users’ sociocultural competencies on this process.
The study includes an analysis of existing data, i.e. statistics, legal and administrative documents as well as an analysis of evoked data. In the empirical part of the study a qualitative method was used: sixty interviews with adult household members combined with observation and auxiliary techniques, and ten in-depth individual interviews with people who repair objects, collect waste from the property as well as collect or buy things that others want to get rid of.