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  • slick_miester
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    No, we don't, but as a nation and a culture, we worship the idol of "disposable." We treat our "durable goods" as if they, too, are disposable...we call it "planned obsolescence."
    Thank you Alexis de Tocqueville. Rimshot. But seriously folks . . . . I was watching the the Science Channel's If We Built it Today, and one of the engineers referred to today's infrastructure as "disposable." Highways, bridges, stadiums, schools: they're all built to last but a finite time. I'd heard somewhere, though I can't recall where, that most of the projects funded by the Interstate Highway Act were designed to last only 50 years. Of course, building durability into a given structure costs more: more time, more material, more manpower -- more money. Still, I'm rather flabbergasted that something that will cost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars is being designed with only 50 or 60 years in mind. What we're seeing now is that a lot of our 20th century infrastructure is nearing the end of its designed life. What we saved in initial building costs we're paying for in maintenance, renovation, rebuilding, delays, disrupted service, or in some cases, actual safety hazards. So in the end, we didn't really save anything. It's the classic government way of doing things: we'll just kick it down the road.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

    Exactly. Except in certain circumstances we don't need straws. Certainly we don't need one given out by a restaurant for every guest's drink...
    No, we don't, but as a nation and a culture, we worship the idol of "disposable." We treat our "durable goods" as if they, too, are disposable...we call it "planned obsolescence."

    Leave a comment:


  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

    So people and little children do. Patients in hospital beds do. The rest of, and especially people from my generation, grew up without them.
    Exactly. Except in certain circumstances we don't need straws. Certainly we don't need one given out by a restaurant for every guest's drink...

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    A more important question might be: Do we really need straws to drink from a cup to begin with?
    So people and little children do. Patients in hospital beds do. The rest of, and especially people from my generation, grew up without them.

    Leave a comment:


  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    This company has a process that turns old tires into lampblack and diesel fuel...

    https://www.waste360.com/waste-energ...e-tires-energy

    Here is their blurb on a generation plant. $105 million to set up and it consumes about 30% of the used tires in the Chicago area while producing 19.9 MW.

    https://www.waste360.com/mag/waste_w...y_power_plants

    Other uses as an energy source.

    https://scraptirenews.com/tdf.php

    Leave a comment:


  • Schmart
    replied
    Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post

    What is the cost to convert the plant and how would that help their bottom line?
    No clue, but there's probably some profit value in them at least staying open vs inevitably shutting down?

    Leave a comment:


  • Schmart
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    As for waste in packaging, companies like Amazon could actually take a lead in this. They could work with the companies that supply their items for sale to eliminate packaging that is either necessary for FTF retail sales, like materials used to make the product hang on a display in a store, for simpler ones that are suitable for shipping.
    Yeah. I don't do a heck of a lot of online shopping, but had two book shipments from different retailers recently. One was wrapped in a simple cardboard book box, the other in envelope lined with bubble wrap. The cardboard I could recycle. The envelope and bubblewrap were glued together, so it had to go to the garbage Too bad... I should write them an email

    Leave a comment:


  • TactiKill J.
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    One solution is pulverize the tires into pellets and generate electricity with them. In fact, a coal plant could easily be converted to run on pelletized rubber tires to the extent they can be utilized.
    What is the cost to convert the plant and how would that help their bottom line?

    Leave a comment:


  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    It's simply a matter of numbers. There are over 1 billion motor vehicles in use in the world today. Almost all of these run on rubber tires. It doesn't matter if it's a motorbike or a huge dump truck, they use rubber tires. Even if a particular tire will last years, vehicles get flats, blowouts, etc., and eventually need new tires. That means there are upwards of a billion used tires going to dumps every year. The result is:



    Worse these happen from time to time and they usually can't be put out:



    One solution is pulverize the tires into pellets and generate electricity with them. In fact, a coal plant could easily be converted to run on pelletized rubber tires to the extent they can be utilized.

    As for waste in packaging, companies like Amazon could actually take a lead in this. They could work with the companies that supply their items for sale to eliminate packaging that is either necessary for FTF retail sales, like materials used to make the product hang on a display in a store, for simpler ones that are suitable for shipping. Or, work with delivery services, particularly close to their warehousing operations, to eliminate secondary packaging in favor of reusable bins. That is, the delivery service / warehouse bins the items and delivers them without additional cardboard boxing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Schmart
    replied
    [QUOTE=T. A. Gardner;n5140557]

    A better way to reduce waste is to eliminate things from the cycle before hand.[quote]

    What do you think is the best way to do that? Regulation? Gentle government encouragement for industry to change processes? Wait for the market to demand it? Public outrage?


    Other recyclables simply have limited uses. An excellent example of this is rubber products. They cannot be recycled into new rubber. Tires for vehicles are the most problematic, often ending up in huge "tire" dumps. There is some use for these ground up used in rubberized asphalt, but that hardly makes a dent in the number disposed of already. One way to use them is to grind them up, magnetically seperate the steel belt material, then burn them to make electricity. Weight for weight they are more efficient than coal.
    Hmm, that sucks. I hadn't thought of tires. Good point. Are cheap, low-quality tires contributing to this? Maybe better, longer-lasting tires would help? More gentle government nudging to encourage industry to evolve manufacturing processes? Wait for someone to revolutionize tire manufacturing to make it easier to handle after their useful life?

    Leave a comment:


  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    A more important question might be: Do we really need straws to drink from a cup to begin with?

    Leave a comment:


  • Schmart
    replied
    Originally posted by Cambronnne View Post
    The solution to your concern about plastic garbage is voting candidates into office who share your views.
    I try. I think those in my local regions (even those I don't vote for) are reasonably good at this kind of stuff. It's the higher (national) levels that worry me.


    You ask a good question. What are the benefits v. the harms due to the use of such straws. I don't know and neither do the people trying to ban them. I would submit that the people trying to ban such straws need to justify what it will do beyond make them feel good about themselves.
    I agree. I think there's often too much irrational emotional/partisan reasoning going into issues such as this. I try to look at it from more of an economic/social cost-benefit angle. What are we gaining vs what are we losing?


    I would rather we let society decide what it wants or doesn't want, rather than some "woke" politician trying to make a name for himself by banning things.
    Yes, unfourtunately too many are in it for self-aggranzidment, rather than the glory of competent public service.

    I was recently struck by the disparity of results comparing opt-in vs opt-out organ donation systems. I think legitimate organ donation is a worthy cause. Stats show countries with and opt-in system have something between 10-20% donation rates. Countries with opt-out system have +90% donation rates. A worthy cause, better donation rates (some organ wait lists are depressingly long), and everybody still has a choice (although it could depend on the ease of opting out for those who wish to). It really made me re-think certain issues, such as single-use plastics (ie straws). The flip side of these opt-in/opt-out programs, would be the majority of personal/financial information sharing, which often have opt-out clauses, but typically laborious and difficult, if not impossible, likely to discourage people, as there is big money in big data these days

    The point being, yes, society should decide what it wants or doesn't want, but for some things I think we sometimes need a reluctant nudge to do the right thing (such as in the case of single-use plastics). Of course, what is 'right' varies, as does personal or cultural trust of 'competent public service'. Which brings us back to square one, where too many are in it for self-aggrizement, and yet we voted the bastards in so the rotten system we have is what we deserve?


    I think the "fight for 15" is an example of this.
    It sounds really generous for me to support making other people paying their employees more and that may work out great for the employees that keep their jobs, but mandating that places like MacDonalds pay its servers more doesn't make those employees more valuable to Macs. As a result, those people lost their jobs due to "woke" generosity. So my hypothetical support for the "fight for 15" made me feel good, but it hurt the very people I pretend to care about.
    I think it's a difficult line to walk. On one hand, minimum wage in some jurisdictions is bordering on servile. On the other hand, paying these kinds of postions 'living wages' I think reduces the individual motivation to advance, train, educate, and move beyond minimum wage work. Granted, many in those positions haven't been dealt the cards in life to have the means to advance and educate themselves to move beyond it. I think there's room for industry/government to provide training and education incentives and motivation other than simply raising the minimum wage. Higher minimum wage won't reduce the cost of education.

    One of my favorite quotes seems relevant:
    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    C.S. Lewis
    Very interesting quote, thanks Gonna chew on it for a bit...

    Leave a comment:


  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Originally posted by Schmart View Post

    My response would be that burning it is a wasted and inefficient use of the materials/resource. If there's no other alternative (ie we're stuck with it in the moment), then modern high efficiency incinerators are effective in converting the waste to electricity and minimizing the pollution created. I think it's a second best option though. Using resources/materials more efficiently would reduce the need to incinerate.



    It's saddening to see how little of the plastics that we send to 'recycling' actually get effectively recycled, for the reasons you noted. We feel good dropping items into the recycling bins, but it's not as peachy as we may like to think. I grew up with the 3 Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, in that order. Recycling should be the last resort. I think we've become far too much of a single-use throw-away society. The costs are cheaper upfront for us so it seems like we're saving money, but it's more expensive in the long run. And I think we're literally throwing away good useful resources. We spend so much time and money and effort to pull it out of the ground (I see it and sometimes live it, as my line of work does alot of oil & gas support), and then just throw it away.
    The problem here is the cost of recycling is often, far more often, higher than the value of the recycled materials. A better way to reduce waste is to eliminate things from the cycle before hand. For example, many products are unnecessarily packaged in ways that contribute nothing to their value but waste materials.
    Other recyclables simply have limited uses. An excellent example of this is rubber products. They cannot be recycled into new rubber. Tires for vehicles are the most problematic, often ending up in huge "tire" dumps. There is some use for these ground up used in rubberized asphalt, but that hardly makes a dent in the number disposed of already. One way to use them is to grind them up, magnetically seperate the steel belt material, then burn them to make electricity. Weight for weight they are more efficient than coal.

    This has been slow to take hold due to the cost of building the generation plants, but it is happening-- except in places like California where they think the carbon produced is going to end the world...

    Leave a comment:


  • Schmart
    replied
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    When you suggest that we incinerate most organic, non-metal / glass trash to generate electricity, the usual bunch on the Progressive front go nuts that it will contribute to Gorebal Warming.
    My response would be that burning it is a wasted and inefficient use of the materials/resource. If there's no other alternative (ie we're stuck with it in the moment), then modern high efficiency incinerators are effective in converting the waste to electricity and minimizing the pollution created. I think it's a second best option though. Using resources/materials more efficiently would reduce the need to incinerate.

    Some things, like plastics, are hard to recycle. The plastic has to be clean, free of foreign materials like paper labels and glue that held them, and most importantly, it has to all be the same kind of plastic. Now, there are dozens of different plastics, so it becomes difficult to sort them out.
    It's saddening to see how little of the plastics that we send to 'recycling' actually get effectively recycled, for the reasons you noted. We feel good dropping items into the recycling bins, but it's not as peachy as we may like to think. I grew up with the 3 Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, in that order. Recycling should be the last resort. I think we've become far too much of a single-use throw-away society. The costs are cheaper upfront for us so it seems like we're saving money, but it's more expensive in the long run. And I think we're literally throwing away good useful resources. We spend so much time and money and effort to pull it out of the ground (I see it and sometimes live it, as my line of work does alot of oil & gas support), and then just throw it away.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cambronnne
    replied
    Originally posted by Schmart View Post

    Point taken.

    It's just that to me, plastic straws or single use grocery bags just seem like such an insignificant thing to be getting our panties in a bunch over. Lefties scream about how plastic straws are choking the whales, and righties scream about the tree-huggers trampling their rights. There's far more important problems in this world to put our energies towards than wether or not our drinks have a plastic straw in them. Also, what does society gain from plastic straws vs the gain from getting rid of them? I think the overall greater gain is on the side of getting rid of them, in terms of the waste generated by a single use/throw-away plastic item.

    Or, why not use opt-in/opt-out philosophies for things like this, where the default would be the most benificial to the general public. In this case, the default would be that no straw will be supplied. If you really want a straw or feel it's more sanitary, ask for one and you'll get one (and there's even enough non-plastic straw options nowadays as well). In this case, an opt-in system. I think the majority of people wouldn't really care one way or the other. Give them a straw and they'll use it, not necessarily because it's useful, but simply because it's there. Take the straw away and they'll barely notice.

    I've been in some municipalities that banned plastic grocery bags. There's an initial sky-is-falling backlash against it by some, but people generally adapt to the new habit surprisingly quickly. I've stopped using plastic grocery bags, even though my city hasn't banned them. Admitedly, it took some getting use to, but in the scheme of things, it was a small habit to learn for the greater good. Many years ago, smoking was banned from bars and restaurants in Canada (most provinces?). Same thing. The sky-is-falling, the bar/restaurant industry is going to implode (where will all the customers come from!?), and close to 20 years on, I'd say the bar/restaurant industry is thriving even more than it ever was. People adapted surprisingly quickly, after an initial learning period.



    Then again, what about others' freedom not to live in a world filling up with plastic garbage?


    The solution to your concern about plastic garbage is voting candidates into office who share your views. Or giving you options at the point of service.

    You ask a good question. What are the benefits v. the harms due to the use of such straws. I don't know and neither do the people trying to ban them. I would submit that the people trying to ban such straws need to justify what it will do beyond make them feel good about themselves.


    I would rather we let society decide what it wants or doesn't want, rather than some "woke" politician trying to make a name for himself by banning things.
    I think the "fight for 15" is an example of this.
    It sounds really generous for me to support making other people paying their employees more and that may work out great for the employees that keep their jobs, but mandating that places like MacDonalds pay its servers more doesn't make those employees more valuable to Macs. As a result, those people lost their jobs due to "woke" generosity. So my hypothetical support for the "fight for 15" made me feel good, but it hurt the very people I pretend to care about.

    One of my favorite quotes seems relevant:
    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    C.S. Lewis

    Leave a comment:

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