Kathedralen der Wegwerfgesellschaft: Zum Denkmalwert Schweizer Kehrichtverbrennungsanlagen

Bischof, Elischa, and Silke Langenberg. 2024. “Kathedralen Der Wegwerfgesellschaft: Zum Denkmalwert Schweizer Kehrichtverbrennungsanlagen.” Die Denkmalpflege 82 (1): 20–27. https://doi.org/10.1515/dkp-2024-1005.

Waste incineration plants are an integral part of today’s consumer society. They close the linear material economy, starting from extraction through production and consumption, all the way to incineration. While heritage preservation has long engaged with the relics of coal mines, industrial and production facilities, as well as warehouses, consumer buildings, and commercial structures, waste disposal infrastructure has received little attention. This lack of focus is unsurprising, given that waste incineration is often regarded as a necessary evil of our time, both by society and architectural professionals.

The essay addresses these overlooked infrastructural buildings, without which today’s consumer-driven society could not function. It examines the development of this typology in close connection with the environment, society, and politics, as well as the resulting stock, ultimately demonstrating their significance as important monuments of the throwaway society.