Recycling and the domestic division of labour: is green pink or blue?
Oates, Caroline J.
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OATES, C. J. and MCDONALD S., 2006. Recycling and the domestic division of labour: is green pink or blue? Sociology, 40 (3), pp. 417-433.
Domestic or household recycling has a crucial role to play in meeting EU targets for overall recycling rates. However, researchers have yet to agree on the characteristics of the domestic recycler and how recycling is actually carried out in the home. In this article, recycling is investigated within the context of domestic labour in an attempt to understand how it fits in with or overrides traditional divisions. This brings an important new perspective to the recycling debate and at the same time updates the domestic division of labour literature to include green activities. It is suggested that recycling contradicts prevailing trends towards decreasing time spent on household chores, but that, like domestic labour, it is initiated and largely sustained by women alone or together with a partner. In this sense, recycling follows a similar pattern to more established household chores.