Imagine in great detail, an invention that could help reverse pollution–describe for us how your invention works and how it will help save the planet.
The reality–we’re drowning in garbage–running out of landfill space. Landfills leach contaminants into groundwater and watersheds. Nobody wants to live next door to a smelly, dirty, dusty landfill.
Kudos to those that faithfully recycle glass, plastic, paper and aluminum cans. There will never be 100% compliance–its human nature. …Just like wearing seat belts and not texting while driving. What would happen if there were a national emergency and we were forced to conserve resources? It happened during WWII.
Instead of building more landfills, why don’t we become more efficient at recycling. There would be less garbage going in, useful commodities going out. I propose automated sorting/recycling machinery at all landfill sites. All reusable materials sorted, recycled, repurposed, reused or sold. A hot water bath for dumped refuse is the first stage. Recovered compressed methane landfill gas, (normally flared off), is used to heat the water.
The water bath, is to separate lighter materials–like paper products, cellulose, and vegetative matter. Large pieces of building material–wood, gypsum wall board would be screened off to separate sorting piles. These materials are highly reusable and would be sold to make paper, new building materials.
Metals would be recovered–be they ferrous or non-ferrous. Ferrous metals are recovered with large electro-magnets, hooked to generators, powered by compressed methane. Aluminum, copper, brass, and zinc would go a separate direction to be sold to recyclers/smelters.
Methane gas, which is a byproduct of decomposition would be compressed, reused at the facility–surplus would be sold. Non recyclable solids/hazardous waste would be incinerated at high temperatures. All vehicles on the facility would use compressed methane gas.
These are not new ideas. The newness, is to do it on a larger scale, with more dedication and urgency. In the deep recesses of my mind, I may have seen such garbage-sorting equipment, before, in documentaries on Science or Discovery Channels. This is a long-term investment in our future that will pay off by preventing pollution, saving finite resources, saving green spaces for future generations. And, if I may have the attention of capitalists out there–there’s money to be made.
- Putting Garbage to Good Use (rsocialconscience.wordpress.com)
- GM Renaissance Center Sends No Waste to Landfill (prnewswire.com)
- Someday we might get 100% of our aluminum from recycling (using only 5% of the energy) (treehugger.com)