Friday, 24 October 2014

Cash for Trash

Don't get your pants in a knot about the attack of the killer landfills.  All the garbage ever generated in North America from day one to a hundred years in the future will fit in a hole less than three miles to a
side.  ( What if the U.S. put all its trash in one giant landfill?  Take the numbers and convert to cubic miles, top it up 10% for Canada and add a fudge factor for the first couple hundred start up years).

I wish I could live long enough to buy that landfill and turn it into gold, paper and fertilizer, steel and  fuel.  The technology is around to do this, it's just inconveniently expensive at the moment.  If you've ever watched a cream separator at work on a farm, you'll know what I mean.  Raw stuff goes in the top, and pure yummy cream and milk comes out the bottom spouts.
Cream on the left, skim on the right.
I used to have one of these.

How can you keep a straight face watching your neighbours dividing their little pile of debris into bottles and papers and light compostables and heavy compostables, stuff for the metal recycling depot and styrofoam to quarantine at a special corner of the regional dump.  To question this is to question their faith.   Maybe Christ didn't die on the cross to redeem them from sin but they sure as heck believe that paper goes in the paper box.

If you value your time at even the minimum wage and times it by the number of mostly wasted hours citizens spend with their garbage, you might get the idea that the money would be better spent learning how to mine junk.  Capital that should go into better, market-based landfill technology is replaced by hundreds of millions of hours from volunteer little "green" helpers with blue boxes.


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