When was the last time you thought about your garbage man, I mean really thought about what he was doing and the important role he plays in our daily lives?
We consume and use and throw away all sorts of things like clothing, electrical appliances, paper products, food waste and many other things that no longer have meaning to us. Most of us just think as far as the garbage can that we tow out curbside a couple of times a week, and then magically the stuff just disappears! Cool, huh?
Well, maybe not so cool after all. Where does it go to? Some communities have their own landfills, most times we know exactly where they are located by the wonderful aroma that emanates from them on the warm summer days, and when the wind changes direction, everyone gets to enjoy it! Other communities don't have their own landfill so they pay some other community to host their waste. YIKES! What about when the landfill, fills up? They all eventually do, you know. What then, make a park for our children and grandchildren to play in? Doesn't some of the waste material linger and contaminate the surface soil. I do not know all the answers, but I do know that we have to ask the right questions.
Some communities have decided it is even better to tow the waste way out into the ocean and then slip it over the edge of the barge, hoping it will sink and never be seen again. Right! How many times have you gone to the beach and seen all the interesting objects that have come ashore after a storm? I never knew that tooth brushes could swim! How do they end up on the beach? Did someone have an overwhelming desire for oral hygiene while sunning themselves and then were careless and left them behind? I do not think so!
Are their options for a world drowning in waste products? What about burning the waste at such an extreme high heat that nothing toxic remains and we make energy as a byproduct? It is called gasification, Thermoselect gasification, to be exact. It is a patented method of high heat, up to 2,000 degrees centigrade, where the waste material turns into a synthesis gas that is a terrific source of energy. In addition, there is clean water and some metals that are recovered during this thermal process. This sounds like a great direction to go.
We need to ask our community leaders why they are not considering something like this process for our waste management needs instead of simply putting our heads into the sand, or landfill, in this case.
Talking trash is serious business. We need to do something before it is too late!
Denise Clarke is a retired Paramedic/Firefighter. She became concerned with the environment after participating in a park dedication in the Everglades in which she met Al Gore. An internet researcher and blogger, Denise wants to learn and share information about our planet. Visit her blog at: http://www.gasification-info.blogspot.com