Proposal Title

SESSION 2.1: A Landfill of "Mutual Benefit": Solid Waste Management within Delta and Vancouver, 1958-1966

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1010

Start Date

4-5-2019 10:45 AM

End Date

4-5-2019 12:15 PM

Abstract

Historical studies of individual landfills remains a critical lacuna, even within the subfields of discard studies, environmental history, and urban history. In response, the author's thesis examines the history of Vancouver's landfill, situated in Delta since 1966. This presentation, centred upon the first chapter, traces how and why the Delta landfill came to be. The timeline will thus address Vancouver's and Delta's waste disposal practices from 1958 to 1966, the conception of the Delta landfill in 1960, the negotiations leading to the 1962 bylaw agreement between Delta and Vancouver, and Vancouver's immediate, and unsurprising, mismanagement of the site from its opening in 1966. The 1962 bylaw agreement between the municipalities was grounded in one key concept, "mutual benefit." As much as scholars and laypersons alike tend to characterize landfills as toxic products of consumerism, Delta's residents had a myriad of reasons - economic, political, and technical - for not just consenting to the landfill, but desiring it. By focusing on practices in relation to promises, it is clear that the situation cannot be summarized as the residents of Delta were ignorant and the City of Vancouver's landfill was an exploitative, high modernist solution to Vancouver's own garbage problem. It is hoped that such a study will contribute to scholarly understandings of high modernism.

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May 4th, 10:45 AM May 4th, 12:15 PM

SESSION 2.1: A Landfill of "Mutual Benefit": Solid Waste Management within Delta and Vancouver, 1958-1966

IB 1010

Historical studies of individual landfills remains a critical lacuna, even within the subfields of discard studies, environmental history, and urban history. In response, the author's thesis examines the history of Vancouver's landfill, situated in Delta since 1966. This presentation, centred upon the first chapter, traces how and why the Delta landfill came to be. The timeline will thus address Vancouver's and Delta's waste disposal practices from 1958 to 1966, the conception of the Delta landfill in 1960, the negotiations leading to the 1962 bylaw agreement between Delta and Vancouver, and Vancouver's immediate, and unsurprising, mismanagement of the site from its opening in 1966. The 1962 bylaw agreement between the municipalities was grounded in one key concept, "mutual benefit." As much as scholars and laypersons alike tend to characterize landfills as toxic products of consumerism, Delta's residents had a myriad of reasons - economic, political, and technical - for not just consenting to the landfill, but desiring it. By focusing on practices in relation to promises, it is clear that the situation cannot be summarized as the residents of Delta were ignorant and the City of Vancouver's landfill was an exploitative, high modernist solution to Vancouver's own garbage problem. It is hoped that such a study will contribute to scholarly understandings of high modernism.