Studio sink

 Here in Oregon, we have a regular recycling center to which we
can take them, ...(waste acids etc).... and they will dispose of
them in a manner that will not harm the environment. 

G’day; I happen to be a nasty old blighter who has a hard time
believing a whole lot of things. For instance our own disposal
folk are supposed to be recycling bottles, and have nice big
skips carefully labelled with the colour of the bottles to go.
They even advertise it in the paper. But what happens? It all
gets shovelled holus bolus into a truck which then goes to a
rather remote landfill out in the country and the lot is tipped
into the rest of the rubbish. And how do I know this? Well,
although the road to the tip is forbidden to all but official
vehicles, A mate took me to try out his 4 wheel drive across
country and accidentally we ended up at the tip - and saw it
happen! They don’t even bother to send the glass to the
glassworks up North. Then years ago when I was in a Chemistry
Department that taught radio chemistry, I was responsible for
the disposal of the low activity waste. I asked officially
what should be done with it and was told to 'take it along to the
tip and see that the chap there bulldozes rubbish well over it!'
This was a senior official, and when I queried it, he repeated
what he said. My boss didn’t care, so I obeyed the last order,
like a good ex-navy man.

So, my question would be, do you really KNOW that the disposal
people do what they say they will, or do they take just the
cheapest, simplest and easiest way out? In these days when
everything is privatised, it is the almighty dollar which
dictates our whole lives… Cynic? Me? Not even a stainless steel
kitchen cynic. Bur plenty of cheers. John Burgess

John, I understand your cynicism, though I question whether your
problem isn’t a healthy case of realism when the news is filled
with environmental atrocities. However, in this one case I can
personally attest that her faith is not misplaced. I was a
contracted consultant (Safety & Health Policy, Mechanical
Engineering, and Computer Applications Design) with the
organization (Metro’s Hazardous Household Waste Program in
Portland, Oregon) for more than a year. This small division is
responsible for extracting vast amounts and varieties of
hazardous materials from the municipal waste stream before it
ends up in the landfill. Each item is tested, identified,
sorted and, in most cases, recycled. As an example, I feel
privileged to have done the preliminary process design and
layout for the Latex Recycling Facility they recently completed.
Every year, tens of thousands of gallons of waste latex paint
is bulked into fifty-five gallon drums and donated to charitable
and civic organizations rather than taking up space in the
landfill, possibly to each into the water table. They even
recycle the glass and metal the paint and other chemicals come
in. The team of men and women who staff the facilities are
highly trained professionals who take the importance of their
jobs very seriously. Granted, they are among the best at what
they do, but if we as individuals don’t take it seriously in
what we do how can we expect anything to change? Sorry … I’ll
climb down off my soapbox now … before someone kicks it out
from under me … :slight_smile:


hi john… i hear the same happens to the plastic bags that
grocers collect and supposedly send for recycling. i fear much of
the recycling effort is an attempt to keep the rabble rousers
from making too much fuss. the up side, however – when we
finally realize this rubbish is valuable a resource at least
we’ll know where to find it. a fellow cynic…

Hi Orchidans, My experience with waste disposal is similar to
that reported by John Burgess. Not everything you THINK is
recycled, actually is. About 20 years ago a good personal friend
of mine was an official with a major waste disposal company. He
told me that they picked up Aluminum cans from the city’s
recycling center, crushed them and and buried them in their
landfill site. When I inquired why, he gave the following
explanation: Aluminum plants (or almost any other manufacturing
plant, for that matter) are fine-tuned to use a feedstock of
known and reproducible composition. Aluminum can waste from
recycling centers is neither of known or reproducible
composition. Such waste may contain a few tin cans, some glass
bottles, plastic scrap etc. Remember, not everyone is as
scruplous as you and I :slight_smile: about sorting our waste. Anyway, these
unknown materials could screw up a manufacturing process BIG
TIME. If an Aluminum plant had to shut down to correct the
problem, the cost would be outrageuos. They just are not willing
to risk the integrity of their operation by using this
non-standard feedstock. Paying the public a pittance to collect
the stuff gives a person a warm fuzzy feeling that he is doing
something for the environment, reduces the blight that would
otherwise result from throwing our used beverage cans out the car
window, (Yes, Virginia some people still do that) and allows the
aluminum plants to operate safely and economically. It’s a
win-win situation, but the cans may not end up being recycled.
Don’t know if this is still standard practice, but unless some
niche middleman has entered the picture, I suspect it
is…Bob Williams

Alice Sauer, I’ve spend over 20 years working with various on
site home wastewater treatment systems. DO NOT PUT ANY STUDIO
relies on bacteria to break down waste, which works fine with
organic stuff like human feces, soap, & bits of food. The soil
then absorbs the efflulenct and acts as a filter to remove
microorganisms and debris. These systems do nothing to
neutralize chemicals. Chemicals can also kill off bacteria,
leaving a period of time when treatment is compromised until the
bacteria can re-establish. The bottom line is that most
chemicals will go right into the soil and seep down to become
part of the ground water. Solvents are among the worst. (I
don’t even use Liquid Plumber to deal with clogs.) Think of it
as Mother Nature recycling your wastewater into drinking water.
If you have a drinking water well, your wastewater system is
probably recharging it! The one chemical group which you CAN
neutralize easily are acids. Your used pickle (acid) can be
buffered with common baking soda. Simply add the baking soda to
the pickle until the bubbling reaction ceases. After that, it
won’t burn your skin. Unfortunately it will still contain a
large concentration of copper in solution. That means it may
kill off plants growing on your mound. You really want those
plants to remain healthy so that your mound doesn’t start to
deteriorate, therefore I wouldn’t put the neutralized pickle
down the drain. If you have a friend on a public sewer
collection/treatment system, you could safely put the
neutralized pickle into that system. Not only will dilution be
helping, but copper compounds are a common algae control and may
well be in use already. Alice, please contact your local
environmental health agency. It may be the county health dept.,
planning and zoning office, or someone else. The point is, they
probably had some say in the design criteria for your mound and
should be helpful by advising you how to use the system to get
the longest effective life. If you can’t find someone to help,
let me know offline and I’ll clue you in to some websites. Judy

Bob --Twenty years ago, a lot of aluminum cans had non-aluminum
tops. And so it was necessary to test (with a magnet) a lot of
the cans. Which they might not have been willing to do. But this
is not true, and not a valid excuse, any more. Nowadays, aluminum
cans are all aluminum, and it should be quite simple to cull
out any other ones, if not by sight (they’re made differently),
then use a big electromagnet (since we’re talking large volume).

The things that really concern me now are hazardous wastes that
some companies just take out on a very dark night and dump
wherever it’s handy.