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    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Organic Recycling: Sustainability?



    I was reading transworld Surf the other day and an article mentioned the fantastic surf in Columbia(i know its not Surfer, but i read all of them ok?). The article mentioned recycling in Columbia was labeled 1. Organic 2. Inorganic 3. Recyclable.

    Got me thinking...

    We only have 1. Waste 2. Recyclable. Hmmmmmmm. First Blush, my thought is we aren't really making the most of our waste. Immediately i thought why we might not do this. We are a developed country and naturally have more packaged/processed goods, accounting for a greater ratio of waste. Also urban environments don't really have the space or capacity to allow for degradation of organic materials.

    Then i kept thinking...

    Isn't it just wrong we are wasting organic materials by classifying them as trash? Possibly they help in landfills but i dont think anything can help a landfill much at all. The potential for organic waste could be huge as far as producing fertilizer or helping crop cultivation. Doing a quick scan, "Organic waste is biodegradable and can be processed in the presence of oxygen by composting or in the absence of oxygen using anaerobic digestion. Both methods produce a soil conditioner, which when prepared correctly can also be used as a valuable source of nutrients in urban agriculture. Anaerobic digestion also produces methane gas an important source of bio-energy." source Um so we could power our transportation and cut down on pollution just by making better use of our waste? (sounds very back to the future to some folks)

    So couldn't we save the earth with our own waste? Ok im sure its not that simple.. I certainly have a different view than most urbanites that live in Manhattan. Born in the green mountains, and spending my whole life in chapel hill north carolina(ok and a hot minute in SF),but i am more at home amongst the trees. New York is infinitely fun, diverse and culture immersing, but incredibly full of litter, and wasteful behaviors such as repeated sidewalk washings, running fire hydrants, and electricity running 24/7. This city has many powerful people that certainly care about environmental change, so what better place to instigate change. It seems what we classify as reusable isnt totally right, and we should look at what we can re-utilize rather than deeming it waste. Why don't we look at our output not just as a problem, but as a sustainable solution? Surely it can't be that simple...

    Any environmental folks out there know the truth?(Laine) Let me know..

    Recycling Organic

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    2 comments:

    Laine 12:04 AM  

    Yes it is an absolute wrong that we are wasting organic materials by classifying them as trash. The ‘we’ I refer to is most of the western world, and the portion of the world that produces approximately 30% of the world’s waste and emissions with only 8% of its population. But environmental innovators in the US and abroad are already considering this issue. Many small and large scale efforts are underway to improve the way we treat our waste and our social perceptions of what waste is. I believe that to be the biggest barrier to change in the US, is the popular perception of our country as a place of unlimited space and resources, and we are only beginning to realize there are limits. Examples are all around us of changing attitudes and technology to implement them. Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island will be turned into and ever evolving lifescape of recreational parkland, ecologically restored habitat, and add 2,200 acres of parkland to the New York Metro area. Living Machines (http://www.curoxin.com/prods_livingmachine.cfm) wastewater treatment systems treat and purify water in an ecological manner that mimics natural processes found in wetlands. These examples just scratch the surface and many more can be found at www.worldchanging.com . Don’t give up; you’re not alone in the battle to save the earth from the tragedy of the commons.

    Ross Cidlowski 12:01 PM  

    Great add Laine. Glad to know there is some positive news out there since the media seems to focus on the negative.

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