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Garbage governmentalities and environmental justice in New Jersey

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TitleInfo
Title
Garbage governmentalities and environmental justice in New Jersey
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Martinez Kruger
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Raysa
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1973-
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Raysa Martinez Kruger
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author
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Lake
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Robert W
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Robert W Lake
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Advisory Committee
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chair
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Schroeder
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Richard
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Richard Schroeder
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Wiggins
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Lyna
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Lyna Wiggins
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Ettlinger
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Nancy
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Nancy Ettlinger
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
Role
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degree grantor
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Graduate School - New Brunswick
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school
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Text
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theses
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2017
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2017-05
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2017
Place
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xx
Language
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eng
Abstract (type = abstract)
During the 1970s, under the banner of environmentalism and the purview of the newly-created New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the State of New Jersey implemented a municipal solid waste disposal policy that called for a garbage incinerator in each of its 21 counties and the Hackensack Meadowlands District. The efforts to site the garbage incinerators led to a forceful social movement to oppose them. In the aftermath of this policy, five garbage incinerators were finally established, one of them in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark. This facility receives the garbage not only from all of Essex County, but also from other jurisdictions such as New York City, with the environmental and quality of life impacts being borne by Ironbound’s residents. In this community, conditions of environmental injustice exist, whereby the community receives the garbage from its comparatively more affluent and whiter neighbors. Using the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark and Essex County as a case study area, this dissertation examines how conditions of environmental injustice in the Ironbound are produced and perpetuated by the collective enactment of our governmental approaches to the problem of increasing garbage production in New Jersey since the 1870s. The garbage flow control policy New Jersey implemented in the 1970s is a focus point in this analysis, but this dissertation contextualizes the incinerator location strategy within the history and geography of garbage governmental management in the state. This research is informed by the scholarly literatures in environmental justice studies, governmentality, and social science studies that examine the intersection of garbage and society. Environmental injustice conditions are generally attributed in the literature to fundamental power struggles among corporate entities and social groups waged along race and class differences, with State institutions mediating these social conflicts and brokering their outcome. Using insights from the governmentality literature, this dissertation explores another explanatory framework for environmental injustice that focuses on how our collective and mundane day-to-day enactment of garbage governmental policy fundamentally produces and perpetuates conditions of environmental injustice. In this discussion, the social science literature on garbage provides key insights on garbage as a social material subject to myriad forms of governmental interventions that attempt to shape our social relations, and into the governmental rationalities, processes, and practices that have been selected by governmental authorities and that have become embodied by us, the population, in our day-to-day lives. Fundamentally, this dissertation argues that our collective governmental approach to garbage supports the power structures and infrastructures we normally point to as culprits of environmental injustice. This dissertation uses a mixed methods approach that combines both qualitative and quantitative research methods, with the qualitative research as the dominant approach. The qualitative research consists of document reviews and qualitative content analysis of State of New Jersey and Ironbound community documents; the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark and Essex County as a case study area; focus groups with residents of the Ironbound as the impacted neighborhood, and of Montclair as a non-impacted community served by the incinerator; and key informant interviews of environmental justice and solid waste management activists and experts. The quantitative research uses Geographic Information Systems to map garbage disposal facility locations, neighborhood demographic data from various economic and racial or ethinic Census indicators, and the flows of garbage in the case study area to the incinerator in the Ironbound, to provide a picture of the materialized physical conditions which are the product of established social relations. Maps were used as visual aids in the focus groups. This dissertation finds that, under the various governmental rationalities of nuisance, environmental sanitation, and environment, we the population have historically enacted and embodied garbage governmental plans that do not question the production of garbage in the first place. Instead, we enact in our day-to-day lives governmental processes and practices to move the garbage out of private and public spaces designated clean, to disposal spaces designated as “appropriate” for receiving the garbage. Under the banner of environmentalism, we have increasingly subsumed ecological principles into the logics of the garbage disposal economy, especially when garbage becomes necessary for the efficient and profitable functioning of incinerator facilities like the one located in the Ironbound. Environmental injustice has been part and parcel of our collective efforts to govern garbage. We have failed to consider the impacts of our garbage governmental plans on communities like the Ironbound, and to recognize how we are implicated in producing environmental injustice.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Geography
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_7978
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electronic resource
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application/pdf
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text/xml
Extent
1 online resource (xvii, 483 p. : ill.)
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Environmental justice--New Jersey
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Refuse and refuse disposal--New Jersey
Note (type = statement of responsibility)
by Raysa Martinez Kruger
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TitleInfo
Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore19991600001
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Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T3HD7ZHV
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
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Name
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Martinez Kruger
GivenName
Raysa
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Permission or license
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2017-04-10 18:19:18
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Raysa Martinez Kruger
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Copyright holder
Affiliation
Rutgers University. Graduate School - New Brunswick
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Author Agreement License
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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2017-04-10T17:54:35
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