Trash Collection and Recycling Abroad

In Switzerland, trash is taken very seriously. You usually have at least 4 sorting bins under your sink for paper, plastic, aluminum, organic, and then general trash.

My Life in France

I have observed a wide range of differences when it comes to trash collection and recycling.  In Singapore we lived in an apartment and had a live-in helper, so I am really not sure where the garbage went as she took care of it.  I think there was some central room where trash bags were sorted.

In Thailand, you simply put everything out on the street in big trash cans and passers-by would sort through it.  Once a week an old Thai man would come up our soi (street) riding a bike that pulled a cart.  He’d yell some incoherent thing that sounded like “bring out your dead”.  He was collecting cardboard so that he would take it to the recycling facility nearby and make some money.  You only need 25 baht for a decent street meal in Bangkok, and I am sure he made good money as his cart…

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Energy from Food Wastes

Jay F. Nelson

Animal waste may become our next source of green energy.

Private corporations in the U.K. have begun investing big bucks to convert leftover food and animal byproducts into a new source of green energy that produces electricity and cuts costs.

Marketplace BBC World Service recently reported that big U.K. chains such as Walmart and Tesco are now actively running some of their stores on electricity converted from leftover foods.

Fish heads, old lamb chops, stale sandwiches, and chicken fat represent just a few of the food waste products whose biogas can be burned to create electricity.

How do you get electricity from stale sandwiches?

Basically speaking, large vats of rotting organic waste ferment in the absence of oxygen in a kind of biogenic bath. Fermentation produces biogases, such as methane, which can be burned to run the machinery that generates green electricity. Anyone who’s kept a compost pile knows that…

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Waste Management in Surrey

Surrey News

Surrey has saved millions of pounds on its landfill tax bill by more than halving the amount of waste it buries in the ground.

In the three year period from 2007/08, the county council reduced the amount of waste it sent to landfill from 64% to 33%.

That means Surrey buried around 200,000 tonnes less waste* in 2010/11 than it did three years earlier.

Currently landfill tax cost £64 per tonne, so the county council would have to fork out £12.8 million in taxes alone to bury 200,000 tonnes of rubbish in the ground.

The reduction in landfill use is in part down to the good work Surrey has done in reaching a 50% household waste recycling target almost a decade ahead of schedule.

It can also be attributed to the fact Surrey residents threw out almost 76,000 tonnes less rubbish in 2010/11 than they did in 2007/08.

John Furey…

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