A New Waste and Energy Nexus? // Rethinking the Modernisation of Waste Services in Delhi
By Rémi de Bercegol and Shankare Gowda. One important aspect of sustainability involves the flows of materials and energy, extracted, consumed, transformed and disposed of in the functioning of urban societies, which makes it directly linked to the ‘nested’ character of infrastructure that this special issue of Urban Studies on ‘urban nexus’ is keen to address. In particular, the question of urban waste, a sector previously neglected in the field of urban policy, has slowly become a major issue in world urbanisation that can be tackled through its cross-sectorial interactions and its multidimensional effects. Through an analysis of the case of Delhi, this article aims to undertake an exploration of the waste and energy nexus in order to contribute to the current debates on the socio-technical transformations of waste infrastructure and its societal interlinkages.
This article studies the effects of waste management policies in Delhi that essentially promote large centralised technical systems such as waste-to-energy plants, which are presented as a ‘modern nexus’ of waste and energy, at the expense of any ‘alternative nexus’ such as the existing traditional recycling sector. Hence, the main objective is not only to question the socio-spatial and political implications of the current reforms of the waste sector but also to discuss the development of other potential decentralised solutions that could complement the overall system in an adapted way.
Urban Studies @ SAGE Journals, https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098018770592