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(Slate)   In this landfill, we embrace the laws of thermodynamics   (slate.com) divider line
    More: PSA, Recycling, waste management, Waste management, local landfill, fictional company, Palmer Holton, much effort, Palmer Holton's story  
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1842 clicks; posted to STEM » on 27 Nov 2022 at 6:25 AM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



18 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-11-27 1:46:48 AM  
That's a really good article. Thanks subby!
 
2022-11-27 6:40:01 AM  
Anything flammable will eventually be burned so the children can play find the shiny.
 
2022-11-27 7:48:57 AM  

leviosaurus: That's a really good article. Thanks subby!


Landfill-based industries may be a scam, but the author's references to "thermodynamics" seem to conflate using harvesting material from landfills and harvesting energy.
 
2022-11-27 8:22:15 AM  
That article is so meandering it hey look a squirrel in a, what kind of tree is that?
 
2022-11-27 8:36:03 AM  
Adam Conover already covered this.

Recycle is the last resort of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle."

We need to reduce and reuse first. But modern industry jumped on "Recycle" so they could continue to sell Coke in aluminum cans and plastic bottles, and as long they can sell the American consumer on putting that stuff in a separate trash can, and feeling good about, then nothing changes.
 
2022-11-27 9:10:36 AM  
Anyone with a clue understands this. The problem is that, in typical Slate-Hate, the author proposes to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

None of these ideas are a panacea for all ills. But they are all helpful. The fact that there is no magic wand does not mean that every effort should be made to reduce impact.

Only idiots like Slate, and their blinkered readers, think otherwise.
 
2022-11-27 9:15:05 AM  
Put it all in a fusion blast furnace, separate into elements, store for re-use.

We just don't want to put in the effort, it's too easy to throw things away and dig up raw materials to make replacements.
 
2022-11-27 9:16:38 AM  
That article was about 18 paragraphs too long to say "excavating waste out of landfills to recycle materials isn't sustainable, and it's a distraction from the need to create less waste in the first place".

And their claim that only 3% of waste generated in the US is from curbside pickup(*) is questionable (as the very article they linked to states)

* For those that have curbside pickup. For people like me living in rural areas who have to drive to the dump every few weeks, our waste doesn't count.
 
2022-11-27 10:30:54 AM  
Methinks the article misuses the laws of thermodynamics.
 
2022-11-27 12:50:54 PM  

brainlordmesomorph: Adam Conover already covered this.
Recycle is the last resort of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle."
We need to reduce and reuse first. But modern industry jumped on "Recycle" so they could continue to sell Coke in aluminum cans and plastic bottles, and as long they can sell the American consumer on putting that stuff in a separate trash can, and feeling good about, then nothing changes.


Is everybody slobbering over Slate? That's funny, I've been saying those things for years, and it never seems to be very popular.  Try ecology, try physics. It works.
GARBAGE IS WASTED RESOURCES.  It is wasted energy.
You'd think that the elite would be the first to jump on this notion, since they're all so educated and informed. But it doesn't seem to go over with them too well. I wonder why?
And the more you use--the more you spend--the more garbage you make, obviously.

doing less of everything


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2022-11-27 1:21:41 PM  
You motherfarking lying commercial crap article.  I  hadn't even looked at it, and here is why:  Nothing about consumption.  Nothing about how the US produces more trash than anyone else in the world., as well consuming the most. Nothing about how marketing is what drives our consumption, not our needs.

we don't care, and we aren't going to address it.   What we will address is how to make MORE business out of doing something with garbage--which will create more emissions, use more energy, instead of cutting down on anything--and never, ever mention that we just farking USE TOO MUCH, and that the companies who make these products should be responsible for their packaging and disposable.  It was their choice to cover everything in plastic and make it all super-convenient--then it's your choice to use it all in an irresponsible manner, like you do, because nobody ever, ever says to you, YOU JUST FARKING USE TOO  MUCH.

What this article proposes, and all of them do, in some fashion, is NOT to go back to the source of the garbage, and tell them clean up their act, which is like, physics--that's what would use the least energy.  the manufacturers get their shiat together and stop using so much packaging, we all gain.
Nope. That's not capitalism. Capitalism says that we don't touch that big corporation that makes all the money and has the brands.  The packaging is part of their charm, after all.  (Did you ever think of that--a lot of the packaging we toss is for nothing but marketing, yes, it's marketing again, but let's not talk about it, this is America.)

What the article proposes is that we take all the garbage that we didn't need to produce in the first place and make new businesses out of it!  Oh dear, now what about that physics and ecology?  This uses MORE energy, not cuts down on anything.   It also doesn't "get rid" of it all, which can only be done with proper environmental techniques, since we live in a closed system.  But that's plastic, so you can shove it up your ass and we'll pretend that it was taken care of.   New businesses also produce money, which is, you guessed it, used-up resources.  Never to be regained again. That tree is dead forever.  From  recycling.

Someone is lying here, wouldn't you say?  That's not recycling, that's not using less energy  That's just like those farking carbon capture plants--a total farking waste of resources and energy for all the energy needed just to create them, which then "recycle" a fraction of what they promised in the ads.  All while using shiatloads of energy.

But you can go to the library, gasps the article.  Don't buy that book.   Give us space, so we can figure out how to cut down without  upsetting us too much.  We just need another 50 years or so, and all of us will learn how to recycle so that China will take  all of our garbage from us.  We promise.
How about NO?  How about you  face reality for once in your assessments  of yourself, which drive all of this?  ALL OF IT.

WE JUST USE TOO FARKING MUCH

Fark user imageView Full Size


go little trashpickers!  We've created so many jobs for you!   You're welcome!  Here's some more!  We're too delicate to deal with recycling!

You're all going to die, in a very unpleasant way, and I won't waste my tears.  I wasted enough time here.
 
2022-11-27 2:01:18 PM  

cryinoutloud: You motherfarking lying commercial crap article.  I  hadn't even looked at it, and here is why:  Nothing about consumption.  Nothing about how the US produces more trash than anyone else in the world., as well consuming the most. Nothing about how marketing is what drives our consumption, not our needs.

we don't care, and we aren't going to address it.   What we will address is how to make MORE business out of doing something with garbage--which will create more emissions, use more energy, instead of cutting down on anything--and never, ever mention that we just farking USE TOO MUCH, and that the companies who make these products should be responsible for their packaging and disposable.  It was their choice to cover everything in plastic and make it all super-convenient--then it's your choice to use it all in an irresponsible manner, like you do, because nobody ever, ever says to you, YOU JUST FARKING USE TOO  MUCH.

What this article proposes, and all of them do, in some fashion, is NOT to go back to the source of the garbage, and tell them clean up their act, which is like, physics--that's what would use the least energy.  the manufacturers get their shiat together and stop using so much packaging, we all gain.
Nope. That's not capitalism. Capitalism says that we don't touch that big corporation that makes all the money and has the brands.  The packaging is part of their charm, after all.  (Did you ever think of that--a lot of the packaging we toss is for nothing but marketing, yes, it's marketing again, but let's not talk about it, this is America.)

What the article proposes is that we take all the garbage that we didn't need to produce in the first place and make new businesses out of it!  Oh dear, now what about that physics and ecology?  This uses MORE energy, not cuts down on anything.   It also doesn't "get rid" of it all, which can only be done with proper environmental techniques, since we live in a closed system.  But that's plastic, so you can shove it up your ass and we'll pretend that it was taken care of.   New businesses also produce money, which is, you guessed it, used-up resources.  Never to be regained again. That tree is dead forever.  From  recycling.

Someone is lying here, wouldn't you say?  That's not recycling, that's not using less energy  That's just like those farking carbon capture plants--a total farking waste of resources and energy for all the energy needed just to create them, which then "recycle" a fraction of what they promised in the ads.  All while using shiatloads of energy.

But you can go to the library, gasps the article.  Don't buy that book.   Give us space, so we can figure out how to cut down without  upsetting us too much.  We just need another 50 years or so, and all of us will learn how to recycle so that China will take  all of our garbage from us.  We promise.
How about NO?  How about you  face reality for once in your assessments  of yourself, which drive all of this?  ALL OF IT.

WE JUST USE TOO FARKING MUCH

[Fark user image image 521x347]

go little trashpickers!  We've created so many jobs for you!   You're welcome!  Here's some more!  We're too delicate to deal with recycling!

You're all going to die, in a very unpleasant way, and I won't waste my tears.  I wasted enough time here.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-11-27 2:07:17 PM  

leviosaurus: That's a really good article. Thanks subby!


It's a mess, filled with irrelevant fluff about thermodynamics and short on actual data supporting the author's conclusions. E.g.

A landfill might concentrate materials and the energy they embody into a compact location. But it simply cannot contain the energy necessary to excavate, reprocess all the materials the company wants, and separate out the materials it doesn't.

Why not? Doesn't that depend on the mix of what happens to be in a particular landfill? And even if it's true, is that relevant? If you're mining copper ore, nobody expects that process to be powered by the other stuff you're digging out of the ground. If you can get metals out of old washing machines instead, while feeding the paper and plastic waste to an incinerator which provides some electricity, you might still come out ahead. It's a matter of economics, not thermodynamics.
 
2022-11-27 3:07:38 PM  
"...probably improbable."

Now *there's* a turn of phrase.

I guess by qualifying improbability with a probability slightly improbablizes the improbability, making it overall more probable.  Seems problematic.
 
2022-11-27 7:56:30 PM  
Let's have the politicians and the elites and overmaster caste consume less first.  Have the top 1% of wealthy people be the max consumption.  If they can get their average per person consumption below the average consumption of the 99%, then the rest of us have to consume less the next year.  And they don't get to buy offsets.  All consumption must be measured.

Problem solved.
 
2022-11-28 10:40:11 AM  

AmbassadorBooze: Let's have the politicians and the elites and overmaster caste consume less first.  Have the top 1% of wealthy people be the max consumption.  If they can get their average per person consumption below the average consumption of the 99%, then the rest of us have to consume less the next year.  And they don't get to buy offsets.  All consumption must be measured.

Problem solved.


But then our 1st world economies would collapse, as they are built on every-increasing production and consumption.  Economists get worried by trends of decreasing birth rates - even replacement birth rates are "bad" because they don't grow the economy as required.
 
2022-11-28 1:33:40 PM  
tl;dr perpetual exponential growth (of the economy or anything else) is impossible, even with perfect efficiency
 
2022-11-28 1:38:53 PM  

ClintonTyree: That article was about 18 paragraphs too long to say "excavating waste out of landfills to recycle materials isn't sustainable, and it's a distraction from the need to create less waste in the first place".


It's more than that - "creating less waste" also isn't sustainable if you're predicating your economy on perpetual growth.  And I didn't read the article as being against recycling, just noting that recycling isn't enough.
 
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