Piped Garbage
06/14/99
Ted Schaefer

I have thought about garbage for a long time. Of course, the first effort should be reducing the amount we produce. It is apparent that the collection of garbage is wasteful itself. Typical recycling programs must have a small net gain, if any, after you deduct transportation cost, sorting, etc.

My thought is to grind waste, make it into a homogenized slurry and send it through the sewer system. It arrives at specialized sewage plants that extract metals, plastics, other solids and chemicals. The balance is dried for fuel and fertilizer. Only large objects, such as construction debris or refrigerators, would be set out for pick up.

This method would change the trucking of discreet bundles to a process akin to a chemical plant's continuous process.

I see many problems with the concept such as:

I see some benefits:

I see some interesting science and engineering in a feasibility study.

Please let me know if:

  1. Is my idea flawed or it's already being explored.
  2. You can direct me to the next step of pursuing a feasibility study (SBIR?)
  3. You have any thoughts to contribute

I appreciate your time reading this and writing a reply. Contact Ted

If you search the Internet for William Rathje, a leading expert on garbage, you will find many interesting articles and sources.

Regards, Ted

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