Over the past 25 years, trash, and facilities for the disposal of trash, have been transformed from public “problems” and resources to property. The social process of transformation has been prompted by increased environmental concerns and increasing volumes of trash which, in turn, prompted the development of regional public disposal facilities and large international trash corporations which dominate this multi‐billion dollar industry. This social and economic transformation has been accompanied by change in legal forms that ratify the economic transformations, as suggested by Balbus and Pashukanis, while also creating conflicts and contradictions, as suggested by Chambliss, which are currently the focus of attention in the United States Congress. This paper traces the social and economic transformation which has occurred and analyzes the legal process of ratifying this transformation, primarily in Federal appellate courts, and the current activity in Congress.
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