the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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Recycling 2: Landfills

You can do three things with rubbish. You can put it somewhere (landfills), you can burn it, or you can recycle it.

Some thoughts on landfills:

Who's a landfill expert? Who knows what the required land costs? How much landfill space does a London suburb need to use over a year? A decade? A century? For good old household rubbish, ie. no industrial waste, what environmental problems do landfills cause, short-term and long-term? What if you remove the most dangerous types of rubbish and store the rest? Can rubbish be treated to reduce these problems? What technology exists to deal with gases? Other leakages? How about landfills in other counties, countries, continents? What sorts of transport costs are involved? What technologies will exist in the future which allow us to dig up old landfills and mine them very cheaply?

All trade-offs and cost/benefit constraints. My point isn't that landfills are good, just that if you don't know much about landfills then why assume they're the worst option? I suspect a large part of the answer is 'they're icky' - but that's hardly scientific or good economics.

{2011.02.18 - 18:07}

Comments:

1 Ronwen (2011.02.18 - 18:20) #

I'm guessing you forgot to put out the recycling and have now realised it's not getting collected for another 2 weeks? ;)

2 Colin (2011.02.18 - 18:24) #

Nope, it's all been collected :-)

3 Ronwen (2011.02.19 - 08:01) #

Wow! You *can* survive on your own!

How many pizzas have you had though?

4 Colin (2011.02.19 - 12:34) #

I'm pleased to report that not as many pizza wrappings will be making their way to the landfill as you might think!

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