Landfills are a constant reminder of all the waste we produce, but a new innovation could throw out the notion of a “dump” by turning them into solar power dynamos.
Small reusable bag company ChicoBag is under fire from three of the country’s largest plastic bag manufacturers for “false and/or misleading description of fact in interstate commercial advertising”, according to the complaint filed jointly by Hilex Poly, Superbag Operating Ltd. and Advance Polybag.
Billion Dollar Plastic is asking ChicoBag to correct the (more…)
We are living in a world where high consumption has been relentlessly praised, suggesting that we should buy, consume and dispose more stuff than our grandparents used to do. With some nations consuming more than others, the quality and quantity of waste varies across borders. And so does the way it is managed.
A conventional method for waste management is to dump the waste into designated landfill areas where it is left for years without being monitored. Landfill activity remains the most commonly used organized waste disposal method in the world. It is also the easiest and the cheapest. However, brimful landfill sites, hazardous waste and uncontrolled greenhouse gases cause greater environmental and economical impacts. As a simple example, part of the carbon content of the waste when it is dumped into a landfill site, is emitted into the atmosphere in the form of methane, which has a greenhouse effect 20 times greater than that of CO2.
Some heavyweights who know a thing or two about transportation are having a pointed online debate about whether or not electric vehicles should receive support from the federal government.
Terry Tamminen, who was Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency under Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, threw down the gauntlet last month in an editorial in which he stated that “it’s time to dump the battery-powered car in the same policy landfill as corn-based ethanol.”
The Netherlands has a reputation for being progressive, from the environment to social initiatives. About twice the size of New Jersey, a large proportion of its landmass is below sea level. Protected (at least for the moment) by an elaborate system of dikes, the country is a center of creativity, efficiency, and diversity. It’s a place that is open-minded and broad thinking on everything from social programs to wind energy. A recent trip to Amsterdam also unveiled it is equally creative with its approach to waste management and water reclamation.
Waste management in the Netherlands is tricky. With limited land area available to landfill, conventional waste is either incinerated to produce energy or exported elsewhere for disposal. In the way of waste-to-energy (W2E), Amsterdam has created an incredibly efficient Afval Energie Bedrijf (AEB) plant capable of producing 1 million MWh of electricity annually. Beyond the energy factor, the plant is also being used to create district heating for several communities around Amsterdam, and produces 300,000 gigajoules of heat annually.
People throw things away. They recycle, sure, but consider all the waste in the world the next time you unpack your groceries. Product packaging alone can fill your trash can after one trip to the supermarket.
Garbage goes into landfills, where it decomposes, and creates methane, a gas much more potent than the whipping boy, carbon dioxide. For years, landfills have gotten rid of this gas, which builds up inside, by flaring it off. Burning it, wasting it.