Networks and the Environment: Analysing e-Waste Management Chains in Toulouse and Milan


The main aim of this article is to explain the differences of adaptation of the French and Italian e-waste management regimes to the European WEEE directive by examining modalities of waste governance at different levels. By carrying out a comparative case study analysis between Milan and Toulouse, it focuses on the local construction of a management chain in Italy and France that has been built to pursue the territorialisation objectives set by the European WEEE Directive. The empirical and theoretical framework driving the analysis is to evaluate the overall (dis)functioning of the “Clearing House” model through the relationships between involved actors: citizens-consumers, local authorities, distribution systems, hi-tech equipment producers (via eco-organisms), third sector actors (social economy) and treatment operators. In this approach, the concepts of socio-technical regime and transition management have been deemed useful tools since it is believed that the particular configuration of the supply chain is the result of the reciprocal interaction between the following factors: 1) A macro normative framework represented by the WEEE Directive and its implementation in France and Italy; 2) A meso dimension, which corresponds to the implementation on the urban scale of this regulatory framework; 3) A micro level, which is represented by technological niches where radical innovations occur.
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