Well, finally! A story that stages the virtues of capitalism instead of one showing how its unregulated excesses take us back to the Middle Ages.
It has been said that dirt is just dirt, but trash can ruin your life. Amen.
No, you can’t see it on Google Earth, as it is mostly made up of the size of a fingernail or smaller pieces, although sometimes whole objects. These include plastic bags, water bottles, baby bottles, cell phones, pens, toothbrushes, plastic lighters, etc. Yes you are right, it is the GPGP, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the junk collected in the slow vortex (the Great North Pacific Subtropical Gyre) formed in the box defined by four great ocean currents in the middle of the ocean between California and Hawaii.
The garbage float isn’t dense enough to be seen on Google or even from a cruise ship unless you’re looking for it, but the Garbage Patch measures 620,000 square miles, three times the size of France, and contains 3 million tonnes of waste. And there are five garbage areas, one in each ocean. And it’s just the stuff that fell into the ocean or washed downstream.
While our desires are endless, the planet is a finite place, and the end, the total consumption of its resources can now be imagined. Nature has already prepared for these facts. Remember the general principle that in ecosystems, energy circulates but matter cycles. In human affairs, too, conservation is good, but over time recycling becomes more and more important.
The Tennessee Eastman Plastic Recycling Plant, currently under construction, will bring input plastic waste back to molecules, thus being able to process any type of plastic waste. It is expected to process 250 million pounds of waste by 2025. Domtar’s current shutdown for redevelopment will make the local plant a major supplier of reprocessed materials, projecting sales of 600,000 tonnes per year . The Kingsport plant will have the second largest machine in the country.
Both companies aspire to be leaders in the scrap materials industry. Maybe Northeast Tennessee can be a leader in something, rather than going through our usual practice of having the story drag us by our heels, kicking and grumbling all over the place. along the way.
While continuing to wish the city and county recycling programs the best of luck, there may be a place for private companies in the collection of household recycling materials as well. We signed with a company called Recyclops, and so far it has been very satisfying. This is a modest charge for the usual materials, a bit more to include glass.
With the usual hiccups – they initially thought I was at Kings Mountain instead of Kingsport and we missed a pickup because the guy came at 5.30am (I said it was a private company) – it was easy, and their response to correcting such things was exceptional.
Barely a decade old, the company was born when a student decided his apartment complex needed a recycling program. Later, the college, the city of Provo and now several cities in several states are involved. There has apparently been a big increase over the past four years when they’ve moved from a traditional corporate organization to an Uber-style structure, with individual local entrepreneurs picking up the pickup.
It sounds like a herd of cats to me, but the people I spoke to still seemed pretty sane. They also strongly guarantee, not being an outgrowth or an affiliate of a waste management company, that your stuff will be recycled instead of just being dumped in a landfill away from prying eyes. You can laugh, but I have heard that it has been done, even in places not so far away.
Currently available in Kingsport, expansion to Colonial Heights, Fall Branch, Mount Carmel and Bloomingdale is imminent. They say they are generally well accepted in college towns so I think they will reach our other suburbs soon. I didn’t ask about the casino / race track towns. Looks like Kingsport is number one in this region thanks to the efforts of one individual, so this operation is kind of participatory, local, and American style all the way to the end.
Their online information is comprehensive and registration is easy to navigate, but for my fellow dinosaurs their phone number is 801-709-1509.
On another topic, I have a friend whose family, followers of an Eastern religion, observe everyone’s holidays, thus maximizing their celebrations per year. May I please recommend the tolerance and enthusiasm of such an attitude and wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.