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Trans(h)ition? Exploring the actor-networks constituting the arena for a transition in Dutch sanitation

Rapportnr WUR 04-2006
Datum 3-4-2006

'A  plea  for  radical  change  in  handling  toilet  waste  is  made  by  some  technical  scientists  and environmental  organizations:  away  from  the  current  sewage  system  towards  source-separation  and alternative treatment (like composting, anaerobic digestion or separate urine treatment). Arguments to underpin this plea are: the current system is spoiling drinking water, energy and valuable nutrients that could  be  used  as  fertilizer;  it  results  in  sub-optimum  effluent  quality  (with  regard  to  nutrients,medicine and hormone residues); it would be economically inefficient.

Their proposals for new sanitation would require big changes in technological infrastructure, but also in  the  institutions  managing  wastewater:  new  forms  of  cooperation  are  needed  and  possibly  the involvement of third parties (like nutrient recyclers or energy companies). It also requires changes in users’ behaviour and culture. It thus implies a multi-level, multi-domain change: a transition. 

This thesis is an exploration of the “arena” for such a transition.'

Bron: Van Vliet (2006)