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Unnatural resources (mining landfills)
Sarah Barmak, The Star (Canada)
Even as the price of commodities falls, landfill mining is becoming both more viable and increasingly sophisticated. Is the idea of trash-as-resource finally about to reach its tipping point?
Something curious is happening to one of the landfills used by the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Filled with the refuse from a city of 750,000 over the past 20-odd years – plastic, old tires, food waste, and sand and stones swept from the city streets – the dump covers 1.5 square kilometres. Lately, however, it has been shrinking.
“By the end of 2009, it will disappear,” says Dirk Lechtenberg, with an air of certainty. His German firm, MVW Lechtenberg, will be largely responsible for the landfill’s extinction. A consultant, he has been advising Pakistani cement companies, hungry for cheap fuel, on how to dig into the dump, extract its insides, sort it, and shovel the good stuff – plastic and coated paper, tires and textiles, rice husks and rotted wood – into their kilns, to be burned as a source of energy.
As the world enters an age of scarcer resources, garbage dumps are being eyed for stores of valuable materials. To those on the vanguard of the race to find new kinds of fuel, landfills are nothing less than vaults of buried treasure lying deep beneath the earth.
(19 October 2008)
Better packaging, better benefits
Lester Graham, The Environment Report
Companies are looking at new ways to use less packaging and save fuel. It’s all considered “carbon reduction,” but it comes down to saving money. Lester Graham reports on a couple of companies finding some success:
(20 October 2008)
Uncle Sam wants you: cardboard sculptures carry serious message about recycling
Mark Langan, The Guardian
We’ve seen the intricate cars, engines, bicycles and other machinations of civilization created out of cardboard by artist Chris Gilmour: bafflingly accurate and detailed for the imprecise medium. Artist Mark Langan, in contrast, creates sculptural works that are inspired by the form of cardboard itself, celebrating its grooves and textures. This work demands a kind of respect and awe for its material, which the artist collects from his own neighborhood…
You need to go to the article to see the pictures for this one.-SO
(13 October 2008)