Put-or-Pay: Erasing the Impacts of Waste-To-Energy through Narratives of Sustainability in Honolulu

dc.contributor.advisor Padwe, Jonathan
dc.contributor.author Chatterson, Nicole
dc.contributor.department Anthropology
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-28T19:23:42Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-28T19:23:42Z
dc.date.issued 2018-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62094
dc.subject Cultural anthropology
dc.subject Environmental studies
dc.subject discards
dc.subject discourse
dc.subject Honolulu
dc.subject sustainability
dc.subject waste-to-energy
dc.subject zero waste
dc.title Put-or-Pay: Erasing the Impacts of Waste-To-Energy through Narratives of Sustainability in Honolulu
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract The City and County of Honolulu (the City) claims to observe the U.S. EPA waste hierarchy, which positions waste reduction as the most effective strategy for managing waste and minimizing pollution. Source reduction precludes the generation of trash through policy, education, and consumer-culture interventions. However, the City primarily manages waste only after it has been generated through H-POWER, a $ 1 billion waste-to-energy (WTE) facility which burns waste to create and sell ‘clean energy’. H-POWER is owned by the City and operated by the multi-national corporation Covanta, which has contractually required the City to provide 800,000 tons of trash input annually to maintain revenue streams, which equal about $130 million/year. This thesis explores the material and discursive tensions of H-POWER as a sustainable waste management solution. Situated in a critical discard studies framework, and using tools from critical discourse analysis, this work unpacks the WTE-as-sustainability narrative offered by the City and Covanta, suppresses the serious consideration of waste reduction as a management modality and uplifts a neoliberal, technocratic waste-as-commodity approach that (re)creates consumer culture ideologies. This narrative positions H-POWER as: 1) a local clean energy source, and 2) a better choice than landfills. Zero Waste advocates contest WTE on the grounds that: 1) WTE generates problematic levels of GHG emissions, which are misrepresented in industry narratives, 2) WTE reinforces upstream pollution by incentivizing the production of goods to become trash-fuel, and 3) WTE is an environmental health concern.
dcterms.description M.A. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
dcterms.extent 85 pages
dcterms.language eng
dcterms.publisher University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
dcterms.rights All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
dcterms.type Text
local.identifier.alturi http://dissertations.umi.com/hawii:10108
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