Wired: Inside the High Tech Trash Disassembly Line

Here's some environmental news I wanted to share. This is my first environmental post since 'Happy F-ing Earth Day'.

There's an excellent diagram in the April issue of Wired. It is also shown here. It illustrates how the cleanest, most advanced waste separating facility works in Sydney. It separates paper, plastic, metals, and organic waste (biomass) for uses outside of a landfill. The gasses released by the organic waste help run the automated facility, and it has technologies that suppress odors. The result is more recycled resources, less landfill waste, and an expensive, but reliable way to separate trash when folks don't put in the effort to do it properly at home. The amount of waste being sent to landfills is increasing. Space in American landfills is shrinking (are so are the costs of adding refuse to that shrinking real estate as demand exceeds space). In fact, some big cities are beginning to pay foreign nations to accept our trash. More alarming, the cost of the fuel to transport waste to landfills is far outpacing inflation. So a facility like this, while costing 9-figures, makes a lot of sense.

The facility is designed and built by Global Renewables, and we can only hope they get a contract to build a similar facility for a progressive US city (San Francisco comes to mind). Oh, and their publicly-traded, and they are cross-listed on RENIXX - the Renewable Energy Industrial Index.