Tuesday, 30 October 2007

America buying trash?

I have just discovered from watching a video "Trashed" that country like America imports trash into their country from Canada for a fee. What attracted my attention was that people are able to find fresh produce in garbage! Think about the hungry children in war torn countries.

Are you throwing away what you shouldn't? Maybe this trailer from "Trashed" will remind you what you have been throwing.

If a developed country like America would consider cutting down tress to create landfills for trash imported from another country, I wonder if it is because they are looking into developing bioreactor landfill. What's the difference?

In traditional landfill, like what we have in Malaysia, waste is dumped and buried. In the absence of oxygen, the waste decomposes very slowly. The same process occurs in bioreactor landfill but gallons of water per day are injected into the waste "cell" to facilitate the growth of bacteria.

The water used will be recirculated through the "cell" and this additional step makes organic material such as paper, food scraps and wood decompose more rapidly. When the waste decomposed, methane is produced and the gas can be "captured" to be used as fuel. Another advantage of bioreactor landfill over traditional landfill is that since the waste decomposes rapidly, this free up more space for incoming waste.

All landfills, traditional or otherwise, have some risks factors. They include:

1) the escape and combustion of gas
2) collapse of waste and decomposing material
3) leachate of potentially hazardous liquid into water sources.

So, it is still your call. You can:

1) start reducing by buying less
2) find ways to reuse before discarding
3) recycle whatever is possible
4) keep throwing, thinking that it will land elsewhere
5) be motivated to act reading "Letter Written in Year 2070".

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