In case this is of interest: this recent book by Robin Nagle, Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City, looks quite good ("discard studies" - history of waste management and life in cities).
Dr. Nagle is apparently a fan of Stars in My Pocket LIke Grains of Sand:"Samuel Delaney (sp), one of my favorite authors, wrote a novel called Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand that includes a cameo appearance by a government official responsible for a planet's waste management. She is charged with making sure that all discards and effluents are recycled, repurposed, and otherwise kept from fouling the environment. Her job is extremely high status because it's understood to be essential to the immediate and long-term well-being of her world." [http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Interview/Discard-Studies-Robin-Nagle-on-Garbage-Sanitation-and-the/ba-p/10117]
NYT review: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/books/review/picking-up-by-robin-nagle.html