Why is there not much research on making products from the garbage that is sent

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  1. LAURENS WRIGHT profile image67
    LAURENS WRIGHTposted 10 years ago

    Why is there not much research on making products from the garbage that is sent to the landfill ?

    The countries send millions of tons of garbage to the landfill.  This represents already mined metals, glass, and minerals.  There are plastic, oil and Petroleum products that could be used to produce other products. Where is the new technology that can be used to produce useful products from all the garbage?  Where are the new jobs to process the waste into useful products?

  2. Tusitala Tom profile image66
    Tusitala Tomposted 10 years ago

    Don't expect those who produce most of it, the manufacturers - especially the packaging industry - to finance it.   The research would have to come from taxpayer money and what government will put up taxes to pay for rubbish recycling?   If private enterprise are to do it then they'd be looking at, 'Is it cheaper to make new stuff, or recycle and then make new stuff?"   Until the costs of raw material in the manufacture of new products outweighs recycling already used material, it probably won't happen in a big way.

    Way back in the late 1950 the American writer, Vance Packard wrote a book called 'The Waste Makers.'   He predicted massive garbage dumps and all manner of probelms SIXTY years ago.  No one listened.   People thought it smart to, for example, dispense with reusable bottles and go to cartons to contain liquids such as milk and soft drinks.   Cheaper to make than to sterilize and re-use bottles, I guess.

    I recall when plastic bags were a very new phenomenon.  That was around the mid 1970s.   Within a decade they were causing untold problems all around the world, yet we still use them.   

    Is there a way out?   Draconian legislation which heavily fines manufacturers who don't manufacture recyclable products and materials would be one side of the coin.   The other, a massive educational program to encourage people think seriously about this world we live in and how, with our present habits, we're wrecking it.

  3. chef-de-jour profile image96
    chef-de-jourposted 10 years ago

    Good question and one that needs to be asked constantly! I think most countries are in a steep learning curve and need to learn how to handle waste as time progresses. It'll take another few generations before we're anywhere near managing our industrial waste. The capitalist system just doesn't recognise waste UNTIL it sees PROFIT written next to it!! Small enterprises are emerging but time is catching up fast!!
    Meantime all we can do as inidividuals is recycle as much as we can and keep provoking politicians to act. Green business schemes are woefully funded and most recycling schemes that actually create new things tend to be based in poorer countries, where cheap labour means they can employ thousands to look through rich people's cast off technologies.
    Since the industrial revolution we've not given enough time and space to thinking about reusing technologies that are outdated and of no use. Only in the last thirty years have we realised that recycling stuff can be of benefit to the planet as a whole. It's this sustainable element that is still missing. Treaties have been signed and deals done but not much action has followed I'm afraid.

    Some forward thinking businesses are responding to the challenge of waste but it's a drop in the ocean at present. For example BMW have developed a near sustainable electric car - a start at least towards cutting down unnecessary waste.

    Governments need to be pressured into change and action and I think joining ecogroups online or in the real world could be a way forward. At the moment this seems to be the only way us ordinary folk can allay feelings of helplessness in the face of non stop 24/7 production of new and better technologies.

  4. profile image76
    grumpiornotposted 10 years ago

    Have to disagree with you on this one, Larry. There is huge research into products that can be made from garbage, including the creation of fuel from waste plastic. We own and operate a plastic recycling business and extract hundreds of tons of plastic from landfill sites every year.

    Just do a quick bit of research on plastic pyrolysis and you'll find quite a bit of information. I live in a "developing" country (basically, third world) and technologies like that are very attractive to entrepreneurs, although obviously there is some resistance from government and established petroleum companies. Naturally, they want to protect their market and in simplistic, third world economies, the governments have not worked out how to extract a taxation revenue from those types of technology.

    I believe that waste-to-energy technology is nothing new in Europe.

    Having said that, I agree that we can always do more... hopefully, you can be involved in the process. I am certainly doing my best. Here's hoping that our kids can still enjoy the beautiful planet we can...

    1. LAURENS WRIGHT profile image67
      LAURENS WRIGHTposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      grumpiornot, I am from South Carolina in USA and I am disheartened at the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill.  This area does not seem to be concerned about recycling or harvesting ready-made resources of garbage. There, you have; fantastic!


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