Tags: garbage

Trash into gas into energy

Private UK company Advanced Plasma Power (APP) plans to excavate 16.5 million tons of solid waste from a landfill in eastern Belgium in order to harvest hydrogen-rich gas from its thermal decomposition using Gasplasma, a plasma arc gasification technology:

1) all recyclable materials are removed in a front-end fuel preparation and Materials Recycling Facility (“MRF”), separating glass, metals, hard plastics and oversized objects – all things which have a recyclable value and market

2) the pre-treated waste feedstock is gasified in a fluidised bed gasifier, producing solid chars and ash in addition to a synthesis gas (“syngas”), which at this stage still contains tars and soot

3) a plasma converter is used to crack the impurities in the syngas and ‘polish’ it whilst simultaneously vitrifying the ash and inorganic fraction from the gasifier to form Plasmarok®

4) the resulting clean syngas is used to power gas engines generating secure, clean, local heat and power

The synthetic gas produced will be used power a 60 MW generator estimated to supply electricity to 60,000 homes.  


Robin Nagle on the City’s relationship to Sanitation

Thanks to the huge crowd that came out to Robin Nagle’s talk in our lecture series two weeks back.  Standing in front of a fascinating slideshow featuring many of the men and women who keep New York City clean (or–more than that–keep New York City alive, as artist Mierle Ukeles famously phrased it), Robin discussed her academic approach to Sanitation, the stigma we attach to the work San Men and Women do and some hypotheses as to how those stigmas develop and why they stick. 


Staten Island Transfer Station profiled

The Staten Island Advance profiles the Staten Island Transfer Station (SITS), where 750 tons of the island’s garbage is trucked every day, compacted, containerized and sent out on a seven day journey by rail to Lee County Landfill in Bishopville, South Carolina.


The Story of Electronics

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/16677482]

Reflections on e-waste from Annie Leonard, who previously made the viral sensation “The Story of Stuff.”

(via The New York Times Green Blog)


Chasing Sanitation

Chasing Sanitation: Falling in Love with New York’s Strongest is a series of portraits and interviews with New York City Sanitation workers produced by writer Lisa Dowda and photographer Liz Lignon over the past two years.

Sanitation Workers – they’re not saints.


Sneak Peak: a spectacular day, in review

Sneak Peak was a huge success!  About 1800 people joined us at the Freshkills Park site on Sunday to make and fly kites, canoe in the creeks, walk the site with an expert, ride a pony, pet a goat, make a bag or a birdhouse, learn about composting and recycling and energy efficiency, receive a free bike helmet or fitting, enjoy the fun music, cool crafts and awesome food and generally celebrate the potential of this fascinating and amazing site. 


Garbage installation+panel on the LES, this Sunday

Landscapes with the Fall of Icarus is a two-week performance installation by artist Paul Lloyd Sargent for the the Mobile Literacy + Art Bus (MLAB), a collaborative project of art and architecture students at Syracuse University. From 2007 to 2008, the team converted a 1984 Recreational Vehicle into a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. 


Sanitation Anthropologist interviewed in The Believer

NYC Department of Sanitation Anthropologist-in-Residence Robin Nagle is featured on the cover of the current issue of The Believer (along with Wallace Shawn and “Weird Al” Yankovic!).  The issue’s in-depth interview with Dr. Nagle is terrific, covering the ‘cognitive problem’ of garbage, the outlook and perception of Sanitation workers and the role of the anthropologist or archeologist in the study of waste and waste management.


Six notable disposable bag artworks

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/13517348]

Flavorwire features six particularly interesting art projects featuring plastic shopping or garbage bags.  Nils Völker‘s one hundred and eight is particularly beautiful.


A one stop-shop for waste

Eco-Cycle, a Boulder, Colorado-based non-profit recycler, has conceived plans for a “zero waste” industrial park model designed to keep resources out of incinerators and landfills. Based on executive director Eric Lombardi’s work with a Hawaiian community group  considering landfill closure and incinerator construction, the park would be a one-stop facility for truckloads of pre-sorted city waste.


Progressive plastics policies proceed

Last week, the New York City Council passed the first comprehensive update to the City’s recycling legislation since 1989.  The biggest addition to the curbside recycling program will be the Department of Sanitation‘s (DSNY) capacity to recycle all rigid plastic containers, including those used to hold laundry detergent, motor oil and yogurt—but as we noted before, that capacity won’t be real until the completion of a new recycling facility in Brooklyn, expected in 2012.


Every garment has a story

Miami-based duo Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, known as Guerra de la Paz, create large-scale sculptures from discarded clothing, reflecting on consumerism, waste and history.  They speak about their work and the ‘history of things’ in this 2008 STUDIO 360 interview on NPR. 


Ask the Sanitation Anthropologist

NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Anthropologist-in-Residence Robin Nagle will be responding to readers’ questions about her work studying the DSNY and the City’s garbage systems this week on the New York Times’ City Room Blog.  Dr. Nagle is a long-time friend and partner of the Freshkills Park project.


RecycleMatch, waste stream profiteering

RecycleMatch matches companies with waste products and companies who want that waste in their manufacturing and production processes.  The website acts as a confidential  clearinghouse where companies list their non-hazardous materials; other companies and organizations can then search the site for materials that match their needs and purchase them at a reduced cost.


Google buys waste-to-energy carbon offsets

Taking a step toward carbon neutrality, Google has purchased a large share of the 200,000 to 300,000 metric tons of carbon offsets that will be created through landfill waste-to-energy operations in Berkeley, South Carolina.  The Berkeley Green Power Project, a joint venture with the Berkeley County Water & Sanitation, Blue Source and Santee Cooper, will capture and flare landfill gas to produce about 3 MW of electricity—enough to power 15,000 homes in the Southeast. 


Materials for the Arts featured on Thirteen

PBS Thirteen’s Sunday Arts program profiles Materials for the Arts (MFTA), the amazing and popular New York City materials reuse program. Founded in 1978 and still growing under the aegis of the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, MFTA negotiates the transfer of hundreds of tons of materials annually from companies and individuals who no longer need them into the custody of artists and educators citywide who can make use of them. 


Public hearing on Solid Waste Management Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently released a draft of its plan for a new direction in waste management, “Beyond Waste: A Sustainable Materials Management Strategy for New York.”  The plan aims to shift the state’s waste management focus from the end of the waste chain closer to the beginning, more emphatically supporting waste reduction, reuse and recycling. 


Fast Trash and vacuum tubes, remembered

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/11804927]

The excellent “Fast Trash” exhibit—featuring Roosevelt Island‘s signature pneumatic vacuum tube garbage disposal system—closed this past weekend.  A series of public programs including screenings, walking tours and even musical theater helped to make the exhibit, curated by architect Juliette Spertus, into a real must-see. 


A weekend for New York City trashies

The “Fast Trash” exhibit is a gift that keeps on giving: two excellent organizations are holding awesome-sounding garbage-focused events at Gallery RIVAA on Roosevelt Island this weekend, piggybacking on the last week of “Fast Trash”‘s run.  On Saturday, May 15th, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) will screen two documentaries on New York City waste disposal: the rare and intriguing-sounding 1979 documentary Collection and Disposal, a Job for the Birds, and CUP’s own 2002 Garbage Problems.


Gov Island art installation wants your garbage

Marketing and design agency MSLK is mounting a large-scale installation called Take-Less using hundreds of take-out containers as part of the Figment art festival on Governor’s Island in June.  Latching onto the statistic that 2629 take-out meals are consumed in the United States every second, the group plans to assemble a large collection of disposable, take-out plasticware into the number 2629 atop a grassy area, reflecting on our constant incidental production of plastic waste. 


Join our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required