Isabella Clough Marinaro

Salvaging Rome. Roma waste traders and the city's «garbage crisis»

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Roma; Waste; Salvaging; Street Market; Rome.

This article examines the activities and challenges faced by Roma waste traders in Rome, contextualized within critiques concerning the sustainability of the city's refuse collection services and disposal systems. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Roma camps in the city but focusing particularly on one community and street market, the study explores traders' strategies in collecting, recycling and reselling metals and second hand consumer goods. These activities involve constant negotiation of legal barriers and financial obstacles that force many into conditions of informality or illegality. The analysis investigates how traders respond to these external pressures in their salvage and resale practices. It considers the logistical and spatial tactics employed and traders' continuous creation and reinforcement of business networks as well as their symbolic responses to political discourses that construct them as sources of urban blight. It thus draws on theoretical discussions around the centrality of waste ideologies in the negotiation of urban social inequalities.

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