Less Waste Equals More Money

Posted: August 10, 2012 by Bill in Week 3: Reflections + Economic Sustainability
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Yay, week 3, one more to go. Ok, seriously the amount of trash that we haul to the curb every week translates into a sort of black hole for money. How do I figure this, well to start with just about everything we haul out, we bought. Second of all the amount of garbage translates into sheer weight, just like I have been monitoring. The more weight we put out for the garbage truck to haul off translates into how much the truck can haul. By law a truck can only haul so much weight. So, if you figure that a truck can haul only 20,000 lbs. of trash and everybody throws out 100 lbs. trash that means the truck can only make 20 stops before having to drive to the dump,or transfer station to unload. Now if we all threw away only 25lbs. of garbage the truck could make 80 stops before unloading. The extra stops equals better gas economy for the company, this in turn can be a benefit for us in the fact that the garbage company doesn’t raise our rates. Hence less waste equals more money. This news article from the Corvallis TidBits http://www.christonium.com/corvallistidbits/Allied_Waste_asks_City_of_Corvallis_Benton_County_for_Garbage_Rate_Hike explains that the garbage company is wanting to raise rates to improve their fleet and to improve the recycling program in Corvallis. Ok, so there are unexpected increases sometimes, but newer trucks get better fuel economy (on average) and this in turn will save on fuel costs, not to mention the fact that less fuel burnt means less pollution in the atmosphere.

Image  Image

There is a huge difference in the operations of these two trucks, automated and, ugh, manual labor. The newer trucks have been in service for awhile now, I am just using them as examples of how less waste can mean more money in our pockets.

On to the next little topic, the weight I packed to the curb kind of took an upswing. I cleaned out my garage and a closet last week end and some of the stuff had no choice but to end up in the trash. Old tarps and (cringe) a box of unrecycleable styrofoam was discovered in the back corner of the garage. Total weight for the week…52 lbs. hopefully next week will be better. But the compost pile is getting fuller, maybe I better back off on the coffee…nah!

On more thing for this week, I found a cool website about a company that has found a way to extract plastics from shredded appliances and such using a method that is free of hazardous chemicals. Argonne  National Laboratory has patented a process they call “Froth Flotation” it separates the different types of plastics for reuse into new products. Check out the website it’s pretty cool. http://web.anl.gov/techtransfer/Available_Technologies/Environmental_Research/Froth.html

“Allied Waste Asks City of Corvallis, Benton County, for Garbage Rate Hike.” Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2012. <http://www.christonium.com/corvallistidbits/Allied_Waste_asks_City_of_Corvallis_Benton_County_for_Garbage_Rate_Hike&gt;.

“Process for Recovering Usable Plastics from Mixed Plastic Waste.” Plastics Recycling. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2012. <http://web.anl.gov/techtransfer/Available_Technologies/Environmental_Research/Froth.html&gt;.


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