[Greenbuilding] Another Green Myth: Garbage Incinerators Are Green Sources of Energy
corwyn at midcoast.com
Sat Dec 3 09:27:20 PST 2011
On 12/3/2011 12:08 PM, RT wrote:
> I find it curious that material going into a landfill would be relegated
> to the same category (ie "destroyed") as material that is incinerated.
> Materials like plastics, copper, aluminum (ie peak oil/copper/bauxite)
> would require time lines in the order of decades, if not centuries or
> millennia) in order completely decompose when buried in a landfill.
Well in the cases of copper and aluminum, we are talking about elements,
and require conditions like the inside of a star to change from that.
> As such, I view landfills as resource storage facilities with the
> capability to be mined for the purposes of material recovery at some
> time in the future when we've depleted the virgin resource to the point
> that recovery from landfills for re-use would make economic sense.
The sins of garbage are as ever:
1. Poisoning. Taking a benign substance and mixing it with a toxic,
poisonous, or radioactive substance. This basically multiples the
amount of poisons that need to be contained, and kept away from food,
water and other elements of the environment.
2. Dispersal. Take a pound of gold, grind it into dust and release it
out of a plane. This is taking a valuable thing and spreading it so
thinly that getting anymore value out of it is basically impossible.
3. Un-purifying. A large amount of energy and effort goes into making
pure substances. Mixing those up with other things in ways difficult to
reverse, requires that energy to be re-spent or wastes it entirely.
This is the problem with crushing cars.
4. Removing from the life cycle. Life is the food for life. Taking the
remains of a living thing and making such that it will never become life
again is a waste. Note that carbon sequestering is a temporary
exception to this rule.
5. Not forward thinking. Just because we don’t currently have a use for
a thing or substance, does not mean that we never will. There is no
such thing as a ‘waste’ product.
Green Fret Consulting
Kermit didn't know the half of it...
topher at greenfret.com
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