While the world may be running short on certain key resources, including fresh water and rare metals like iridium, one resource is as abundant as ever: trash. The World Bank projects the global municipal waste stream to hit 2.2 billion tons per year by 2025, up from about 1.3 billion tons now.
Conceptualizing trash as a resource may be key to reducing its burden on communities, particularly in developing countries where landfills tend to be located closer to living areas. (In America, landfills are normally placed at the edge of cities and towns). If we can find ways of mining trash for precious commodities or turning it into energy, we could both reduce the size of the piles and create something useful. More to the point, repurposing trash would curb greenhouse gas emissions. Landfills are a significant source of methane, a pollutant many times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. read more >>