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Estudios sociales (Hermosillo, Son.)

Print version ISSN 0188-4557


GUZMAN CHAVEZ, Mauricio  and  MACIAS MANZANARES, Carmen Himilce. The management of municipal solid waste: an anthropological approach. The case of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Estud. soc [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.39, pp.235-262. ISSN 0188-4557.

This article presents a critic review of specialized published literature on local solid waste management and also a reflection about the political aspects linked to such management. Peñasco open dump, located in the outskirts of the San Luis Potosi's metropolitan area, is taken as a case study. This reflection is manly focused on the strategies used by the scavengers (people who separate the waste) in order to defend their source of employment, that is, their struggle and negotiations to influence the municipal politics as well as the managerial decisions of the company responsible of the administration of such place. Our analysis gives evidence about the difficulties and inefficiencies that the approaches proposed by environmental engineering have in order to generate changes in the solid waste management. It also shows the importance of the role played by several actors with different interests and perceptions defining the territorial control and the solution of the solid waste disposal as a social problem.

Keywords : solid waste disposal; politics; management; scavengers; work; conflict.

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