Accepted paper:

Manure and material politics of resource-making: the case study of Biovakka biogas company

Authors:

Maria Akerman (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
Niko Humalisto (Finnish Evangelical Lutheral Mission)

Paper short abstract:

The paper investigates material politics of nutrient recycling: how different material orderings enhance or limit resource-making. It is based on a study of a struggle of farmers to turn a regional surplus of manure into a resource in production of recycled fertilisers and biogas.

Paper long abstract:

As part of its circular economy policy, Finland has launched a programme to turn the country into a model country in terms of nutrient recycling. One specific goal in this programme is to enhance processing of manure into transportable fertilisers. However, despite the numerous policy efforts and R&D projects targeting nutrient recycling, the results have been modest. Often manure seems to qualify as a problematic surplus material rather than a resource To understand the reasons for the modest success, this paper investigates a struggle of a pioneering group of farmers in their attempts to turn a regional surplus of manure into a resource in combined production of recycled fertilisers and biogas. The analysis focuses on how social categorisations and manure itself participate in requalification of matter. The aim is to shed light on the material politics of nutrient recycling: how do different material orderings either enhance or limit resource-making — and how and in which arenas could these orderings be questioned.

panel A09
Encounters with and for circular economy initiatives