This chapter synthesizes findings of a series of projects on the recycling potentials of wire-based infrastructure systems of the cities of Linköping and Norrköping in Sweden. In contrast to other studies on urban stocks, very detailed investigations of the wire systems and their metal contents have been performed, and their recovering potentials assessed. The chapter presents an overview of identified accumulation processes for disconnected subsurface infrastructure. An approach for performing contextualized assessments of the feasibility of urban mining is presented and the challenges connected to making recycling an integral part of infrastructure management discussed. Only in connection with maintenance, infrastructure recycling currently makes economic sense, but the emerging needs for renewal of such networks offer a unique opportunity for changed practices. For this to happen, there is a need to reformulate the purpose of cable recycling, from only metal recovery to contributing to core values of net owners and municipalities.
Joakim Krook, Björn Wallsten, Niclas Svensson and Stefan Anderberg
Malin Henriksson, Martin Hultman, Nils Johansson, Anna Kaijser and Björn Wallsten
Ways of organizing matter to circulate longer in societies are gaining much political and business interest. Simultaneously, research has seen an upsurge. In this chapter we argue that this focus on circulating matter is welcome, but that the practice of Circular Economy, might greenwash destructive industrial modern production. Current research into Circular Economy is mainly done at a large industrial scale, thereby focusing on re-circulating waste into resources. We propose that research needs also to be done on a more human, down to earth, scale in which forms of Social Entrepreneurship and Ecopreneurship might help show how to organize transitional agency towards living within planetary boundaries. From this perspective decentralized and small-scale solutions can be illuminated that will be part of re-designing systems, making circular flows not only focusing on waste, but also display choices about what matter could circulate more and what should not.