Apr 032017
 

INDONESIA: The Methane Gas Canteen is an eatery like no other – it’s situated right in the middle of the Jatibarang Landfill in Semarang, Central Java, surrounded by mounds of putrefying waste, household rubbish, broken glass and plastic.

Every day, while men, women and children dig through mountains of trash collecting plastic and glass bottles to sell, husband and wife team Sarimin and Suyatmi are busy cooking.

Their customers? Cash-strapped scavengers who have the option to pay for their meals with plastic waste instead of money – part of the community’s novel solution to recycle the non-degradable plastic and reduce waste in the landfill.

Mr Sarimin, 56, weighs the amount of plastic each customer brings to the diner and calculates how much it is worth. This value is then deducted from the cost of the meal, or any surplus value refunded to the customer.

“I think we recycle 1 tonne of plastic waste a day, which is a lot. This way, the plastic waste doesn’t pile up, drift down the river and cause flooding.

“This doesn’t only benefit the scavengers, it benefits everyone,” said Mr Sarimin.

WATCH: How this works (2:08)

 

 

 

 

Source: Diner in the landfill lets patrons pay for lunch with plastic waste – Channel NewsAsia

Feb 262016
 

Is It Waste Or Is It Waste?

Waste, Just look at it. It's the stuff we put in the little plastic bag lining the kitchen “garbage can”, then take to the big black garbage can container out at the curb. Listen, subconsciously for the sound of the garbage truck then again subconsciously sigh when we hear the dumping and the truck driving to the next garbage container.
Most of the people fail to see it at all – the eye tends to subtract it – but those who do notice usually don't pay any attention. It's “Out sight out of mind.”

A sea of cell phones

According to the United Nation. 'Wastes' are substance or objects, which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law.

In the modern language of garbage “Waste”, has become synonymous with “Trash” – that is, waste has come to mean the perceived dirty, icky, unhelpful, useless, valueless material that's left over when we're done with something. By this definition, waste is the foul stuff we wish would just disappear.

“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

Our entire elaborate waste collection, transportation and disposal system has for a century been built around this “just make it go away” concept, An illusion for which Americans happily (or at least regularly) pay either through taxes or monthly bills. Waste in this sort of discussion is always to be defined as a cost, a negative and a burden – an inevitable, unpleasant fact of life, for which the only remedy is removal.

I apply a different definition to the word “Waste”, the one we at Green Fire emphasize – the original verb form of the word as in 'to waste” something. By this definition the nature of the discussion changes, because “to waste” implies the object being wasted has value, be it time, resources or manpower. After all, you can't “Waste” something that has no value.

If trash is defined not as waste but as the physical manifestation of wastefulness, the discussion stops being about disposing of the dirty or useless, and starts being about asking why we are throwing away so much hard earned money. Why are we wasting stuff that we pay for as product or packaging, then pay for again as trash to be hauled away to be recycled, then sold back to us again as product or packaging?

Now it is no longer the waste itself that's negative but the lack of awareness of this “value” that's at issue. Looking at it from this point of view, the convenience of burying these discounted items in landfills forever, or shipping them off to China to be recycled for pennies on the dollar and sold back to us, stops seeming so normal or sensible.

Green Fire defines Waste in this discussion as a “value”, a positive and an advantage – an undeniable, pleasant fact of life, for which the only approach is resource recovery, reclaim the value.

Resource recovery is the retrieval of waste material, which was intended for disposal, for specific local uses. Green Fire processes waste material to extract or recover raw materials and resources, or convert to energy. This process is carried out at a Green Fire on-site resource recovery facility.

Resource recovery is not only important to the environment, but it can be cost effective by decreasing the amount of waste sent to the disposal stream, convert the amount of space needed for landfills to restored farm land, and recover limited natural resources.

Let me introduce you to Landfill mining and reclamation (LFMR), a process whereby solid wastes which have previously been landfilled are excavated and processed.

The function of landfill mining is to reduce the amount of landfill mass encapsulated within the closed landfill and/or temporarily remove hazardous material to allow protective measures to be taken before the landfill mass is replaced.

In the process, mining recovers valuable reusable raw materials, fuels and gases, construction material, soil, and landfill space.

The aeration of the landfill soil is a secondary benefit regarding the landfills future use. The fuels and gases are used for the generation of power.

The overall appearance of the landfill mining procedure is a sequence of processing machines laid out in a functional conveyor system. The operating principle is to excavate, sort, crush and feed prepared the landfill material to the recovery facility.

It is Waste and Waste contains many resources with high value.

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