What Should We Do With All Our Trash?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Glenn Holland, May 17, 2018.

  1. Glenn Holland

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    The U.S. has been exporting it's trash to China and they're not going to accept it anymore of it:



    Solid waste disposal is now a major economic problem and I've been a proponent of "Waste To Energy" (WTE). China's ban is an opportunity to turn our trash into electric power.
     
  2. BelleFixer

    Member

    Jul 21, 2016
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    Recycle it to make an electric power.
     
  3. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Send it to New Jersey like we did before.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. danadak

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2018
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    shortbus and absf like this.
  5. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    Well I guess we'll just have to choke on it.
     
  6. Little Ghostman

    Member

    Jan 1, 2014
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    No such thing as waste, just discarded resources, make do and mend has been replaced by squander and discard. As mentioned elsewhere we even have a bio methane reactor on our septic tank at home now.

    Scotland has a zero waste policy, its just starting to make an impact, somewhere along the line we got lazy.
     
    shortbus likes this.
  7. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    There are real waste products that nearly impossible to recycle because of extreme toxicity or volatility from advance production processes but most of our trash can be reused but that requires energy due to entropy. If it's possible to make a buck somebody will find a way. We have vast federal spaces open for a possible future resource mining location (landfills) if transportation is cheap.
     
  8. Glenn Holland

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    Producing most substances from raw elements requires energy and it also requires energy to decompose those substances back to elements.

    One way to get that energy is simply to burn the substance and let the forces of nature do the rest. Fruits, vegetables, and meats are created by nature through the carbon cycle which is ultimately powered by sunlight. Most animal related organic compounds (human and animal waste) can be recycled directly by using sewage sludge as fertilizer.

    However there is no way to recycle many complex hydrocarbons such as contaminated plastics.
     
  9. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    Depending on the type of contamination, some such waste can be recycled using heat treatment. For example, a company in the UK is converting certain plastic waste from hospitals into building blocks.
     
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  10. Glenn Holland

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    That's the problem.

    Converting waste to other products requires a large amount of energy. So we're trading a waste problem for an energy problem.
     
  11. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Exactly, What possible and what's practical economically are two separate parts of the trash recycling problem. If the product has value like beer and soda cans at 5 or 10 cents each even bums on the street will recycle.
     
  12. panic mode

    Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2011
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    force makers of products to only use materials that can be recycled. if they want to use something different let them carry the cost.
     
  13. Little Ghostman

    Member

    Jan 1, 2014
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    Or stick the sludge into a microbe cell, get a little energy and 2 in return. Dissolve the CO2 into a hydroponic system so the carbon is easily accessible to the plant roots.

    A number of older landfill sites in the UK have BioMethane plants sat on top of them now capturing and using the methane.

    There is also a company using enzymes to break down plastic into a liquid fuel.....With though, money and research alot of what we call waste is a resource. Take 15-20 years ago and all the electronic stuff thrown into holes in the ground, Edinburgh university recently wrote a paper on how to get the Gold out of the waste using a green chemical process. Things are changing in the waste industry, its good to see an effort being made.
     
    shortbus likes this.
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