Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Cycling and Recycling: Histories of Sustainable Practices

View Table of Contents

Volume 7

Environment in History: International Perspectives

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Cycling and Recycling

Histories of Sustainable Practices

Edited by Ruth Oldenziel and Helmuth Trischler

256 pages, 18 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-970-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78920-055-3 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78238-971-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…an informative and very readable volume that offers stimulating ideas for further research.” • Technikgeschichte

“The reviewer freely admits to have learned many interesting and fascinating facts about ‘Cycling and Recycling’ in very different country contexts. In addition, most of the contributions have been written in such a way as to be so comprehensible and jargon-free as to make them accessible also to readers beyond the narrow circle of specialists, which appears particularly important for an interdisciplinary field such as environmental history. In addition, the collection reveals, beyond the semantic bracket of the title, a thematic stringency that one can only wish for in the cases of many available syntheses bound together.” H-Soz-Kult

“This book’s conceptual framework is truly innovative and makes a much-needed intervention in the vast literature on sustainability. Writing against the ‘techno-fix mentality’ that dominates so many contemporary environmental discourses, the editors persuasively argue for the need to resurrect ‘older technologies for a new purpose.’” Edward D. Melillo, Amherst College


Technology has long been an essential consideration in public discussions of the environment, with the focus overwhelmingly on creating new tools and techniques. In more recent years, however, activists, researchers, and policymakers have increasingly turned to mobilizing older technologies in their pursuit of sustainability. In fascinating case studies ranging from the Early Modern secondhand trade to utopian visions of human-powered vehicles, the contributions gathered here explore the historical fortunes of two such technologies—bicycling and waste recycling—tracing their development over time and providing valuable context for the policy successes and failures of today.

Ruth Oldenziel is Professor of American and European History at the Eindhoven University of Technology and visiting scholar at the LMU Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. Her books include Consumers, Users, Rebels: The People Who Shaped Europe with Mikael Hård; Cold War Kitchen with Karin Zachmann; Gender and Technology with Nina Lerman and Arwen Mohun; and Making Technology Masculine.

Helmuth Trischler is Head of Research of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Professor of Modern History and the History of Technology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and Co-Director (with Christof Mauch) of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. His most recent book is Building Europe on Expertise: Innovators, Organizers, Networkers with Martin Kohlrausch.

Subject: Environmental Studies (General) History (General) Transport Studies



Introduction: How Old Technologies Became Sustainable: An Introduction
Ruth Oldenziel and Helmuth Trischler


Chapter 1. Use and Cycling in West Africa
Hans Peter Hahn

Chapter 2. The Politics of Bicycle Innovation: Comparing the American and Dutch Human-Powered Vehicle Movements, 1970s—present
Manuel Stoffers

Chapter 3. Scarcity, Poverty, Exclusion: Negative Associations of Bicycle’s Uses and Cultural History in France
Cathérine Bertho Lavenir

Chapter 4. Who Pays, Who Benefits? Bicycle Taxes as Policy Tool of the Public Good, 1890–2012
Adri de la Bruhèze and Ruth Oldenziel

Chapter 5. Monuments of Unsustainability: Planning, Path Dependence, and Cycling in Stockholm
Martin Emanuel


Chapter 6. Bicycling and Recycling in Japan: Divergent Trajectories
William Steele

Chapter 7. Premodern Sustainability? The Secondhand and Repair Trade in Urban Europe
Georg Stöger

Chapter 8. Waste to Assets: How Household Waste Recycling Evolved in West Germany
Roman Köster

Chapter 9. Ecological Modernization of Waste-Dependent Development? Hungary’s 2010 Red Mud Disaster
Zsuzsa Gille

Chapter 10. Der Kampf um den Abfallstrom.” Conflict and Contestation in Re-Valuing E-Waste in Germany
Djahane Salehabidi


Chapter 11. Can History Offer Pathways to Sustainability?
Donald Worster

Chapter 12. History, Sustainability, Choice
Robert Friedel

Select Bibliography

Back to Top