Skip to comments.Time to throw out 'myth' of recycling [9 years ago, Sweden determined Al Gore was full of crap]
Posted on 04/15/2012 1:45:30 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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Old fashioned windmills were used to pump water from wells, or mill grain (hence the name ‘wind mill’).
I have studied the energy budget, extensively, for use in an old-fashioned job - lifting water. Specifically, lifting water at an elevated water storage tank, for rural water districts. The beauty of using the windmill to lift water into a storage tank is precisely that it gets around the limitations of relying on when the wind is blowing. You make the tank big enough, it can last several days without the wind blowing to pump in more water. You are essentially storing the energy used in pumping, until it is needed - a rarity in the sale of electricity.
We discovered we could get it to work under only these conditions:
1. 30% federal subsidy to build it
2. State law requiring the electrical utility to purchase unused power, during high winds, at wholesale rates.
3. A fairly large windmill, to generate alot of excess power for sellback to utility company.
4. Be very near an existing transmission line...no money spent to build new transmission line, beyond a fraction of a mile.
And all of these calculations were made with an assumed 40 year lifespan of the windmill...which I tend to doubt will be true.
Several water districts heard the pitch...non bit on the idea...and now the subsidy is gone, so it is downright impossible to make the numbers work.
Without the subsidy, they just don’t cost out. And the amount of energy they make, and their spread out nature, makes the cost of transmission very high, compared to a discreet 1GW power plant, using coal or gas.
I’ve been part of the ‘budget’ process with these things...and it just doesn’t work....even after we thought we had found a clever energy storage medium.
The authors followed the trucks as they dutifully collected up the three separate bins. The trucks went to - you guessed it - a landfill in Virginia.
In the same story, they discovered that although there were three openings in the trucks for the three separate bins, the stuff all went into a common container.
Glass is cheap.
Except for the boxite, everything else is readily available, or at least much less expensive to make from scratch.
Personally, I like to
Looong before I get to c) recycle.
It is my understanding the big garbage haulers sort and recycle anything of value. Presorting isn't really necessary. Our town came up with a regulation that all apartments complexes have recycling bins. We have the bins at my complex, but none of them are labeled. So if you look in the various bins, it looks like a regular garbage can. I don't bother to sort any more. I just throw it all in the regular garbage can which is still there..
Maybe the yuppies & hollyweirdos should set a good example and stop buying bottled water.
After you, my dear Alfonse.
I can tear down a couch-chair-mattress and it goes in the curby. The springs are saved and trucked to a bone yard at 10c a pound with all other metal. I laugh when they pick up my three recycle bins with every scrap of paper plastic and cans I can get in it. I have 15 rentals and make good use of the system. Saves me a ton of cash. I love those people.
I’ve consistently argued for years now that we need to let market pricing sort out the recycling question. If no one is willing to pay for a used material, then it simply doesn’t have enough value to justify recycling it.
Put another way, if it costs more to recycle it than someone is willing to pay, then mandating recycling anyway will actually waste resources, not conserve them.
This becomes obvious when one sees the additional costs incurred for multiple garbage cans, separate runs for recycled materials, etc. And the cost of people’s time doing all that breaking down and sorting is never calculated.
Once the price mechanism is introduced, those who want to recycle things of value will do so, and those who think their time is worth more to them than the value of the recycled materials will not do so. It takes a government mandate to mess up an otherwise rational system.
How utterly pathetic.
It takes time to tear stuff apart. I have several dumpsters that I pay for already that most of the small stuff goes in. The bigger items get trucked to the incinerator at $56.70 per ton. We will knock apart particle board stuff just to save room. All the metal stuff goes to the yard but I do not clean the alum/steel mix stuff just turn all in for steel money.
So the fact that “new” news print is $400+ per ton, in any given year, but recyled is 160 per ton, looks like a good thing. The paper is waste in America, creates waste hauler jobs, creates recyled plant jobs and save the printing industry 50%. These all sound like good conservative business practices.
As an engineer, this isn’t news. There are things that should be recycled (steel for instance), but a lot of it is just a boondoggle.
Because the glass hasn't been contaminated or mixed with other colored glass yet?
Before our township took over the trash/recycling collection, Waste Management gave us a credit for recycling. Wasn't much, about $15 and we separated the "recyclables". When the city took it over everything gets tossed into the same bin and no more credit.