Can we do better than Sweden?

Sweden is so efficient at burning their rubbish for waste that they’ve run out of their own and are importing other nation’s waste to help meet their energy needs. It’s a good story, but we can do better!
1. Waste is important. Waste = food. Organic waste is food for the soil, and industrial waste is food for the industrial ecosystem as well.  

Watch this next video on Sydney’s waste recycling centre, Global Renewables. I first saw this on Gardening Australia. The youtube clip below has a fun illustration style and gets the message across quickly, but the Gardening Australia footage is much more impressive. You’ve just GOT to see the enormous industrial strength compost heap, larger than two football fields, and the huge blender/mixer that keeps the bugs properly circulating to break down the compost. It is truly awesome! I’m going to go and visit it.

Youtube presentation in cartoon style:

2: Therefore I think it’s a shame to burn all our waste in conventional incinerators for a little heat and electricity when there are so many other ways to make energy and heating, and so many important products to gain from our waste. Remember, waste = food! Organic waste = nutrients for growing human food, and industrial waste = industrial feedstocks for various building materials, plastics, etc.

3. After all the recycling above there are ‘Residuals’ left over like bad old plastics and asbestos and stuff: this too can be recycled! Even those nastier odds and ends and degraded plastics and paint cans and asbestos panels. This can all be processed into useful goods by a Plasma Burner. Indeed, if a city is too ‘lazy’ to recycle in the conventional manner above, and wants a quicker, easier way (or lower salary way?) to recycle all waste (except nuclear waste) into useful syngas and building materials, try reading about the Plasma Burner. 

It’s called a Plasma Burner but the waste is not really ‘burned’. It is not just just turned into ash in normal oxygenated air, but is put through ‘lightning on a stick’ in a low oxygen environment so that the molecules are effectively ripped apart. We can throw all kinds of household waste in, from lawn clippings and old joggers and dirty nappies and paint cans through to even building waste like asbestos and wood and flood waste. It all goes in and is ripped apart at the atomic level. The gases shoot off the top and go to the petrochemical industry to become varnish and plastics and glues and paints, and the slag that comes out the base can be turned into bricks and paving and rockwool and insulation and faux-wood panels with a little glue from the syngas. In other words, Plasma Burners turn household waste into houses!

This entry was posted in Industrial Ecosystems, Plastic, Waste. Bookmark the permalink.

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