One Man’s Trash…

After reading about the current disposal options for solid waste in New York, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. I’ve noticed how NY slowly had realized that waste could be harmful if not disposed of properly and that if disposed of in the most efficient way can even be useful. They have also recently tried to find ways to make it useful, like their waste to energy incineration facilities. This type of method is in my opinion the first step to a successful future for the waste in NYC. Although the technology only allows a small efficiency rate, investments in the technology may prove useful. The biggest issue is that, despite being less than more common energy producers, emissions from this process can be harmful. The more we use this method, the more harmful.. even if less harmful than other ways.
The best solution, though obviously extremely speculative, would be a way to completely transmit our waste into something useful without a negative effect on environments and neighborhoods, and too big of a strain on the government budget. Is there someway, somehow, a way to make all of this trash into a true resource?

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2 Responses to One Man’s Trash…

  1. arielyardeni says:

    I definitely believe that there needs to be more research into ways to completely transmit waste into something useful with a less negative environmental effect. While the WTE incineration facilities are a great step, and have reduced the harmfulness of emissions, they also require a large number of truck trips to deliver waste, and that has a negative impact on our environment as well. While there are new promising methods of decomposing organic materials and converting products into energy, not all waste is organic waste and there are many methods of waste disposal yet to be discovered. While the framework for waste management outlines recycling targets and plans to reorganize MSW disposal by boroughs becoming self-sufficient and long-haul trucking eventually being eliminated, I wonder why there appears to be no mention of researching into new technologies for waste disposal that could actually aid boroughs in becoming more self-sufficient. Maybe there should be more of a focus into researching new solutions and less of a focus on fixing up existing ineffective ones?

  2. Gen Hua Tan says:

    The article seems really geared towards the WTE incineration method since it is efficient in eliminating trash and not too costly compared to Thermal Processing. I am totally for realistic approaches to our waste problem but looking at the bigger picture, Thermal Processing is the way to go. It has potential to reduce even more waste than WTE incineration AND generate much more electricity for use. The only downside is the expense and maintenance. I’m wondering how Japan is financing its 40 million tons of waste through thermal processing whereas it’s been projected to cost about 500 million to maintain one facility that processes about 1 million tons of waste annually.

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