A recurrent theme on this site is the idea that the recycling of waste could be funded through the proceeds of the reclaimed materials and that consequently waste-disposal fees should be abolished. However, this raises the question if recycling is indeed a profitable venture? Continue reading Wast-to-value: an analysis
Waste management is an important issue for any community and space settlements will not be different. For several reasons, such are pollution and traffic congestion, running garbage trucks through the streets is a bad idea. So space habitat designers should consider alternatives. One interesting concept is illustrated in the video below:
Two Italian fashion designers have developed a technique to make a silk-like fabric from citrus waste, called Orange Fiber. The orange juice industry produce a very large amount of waste in the form of peels. The use of citrus peels as a resource for the production of textiles, is interesting as it increase the value of citrus fruits and hence potentially increasing the income of citrus farmers.
In the previous post I did not discuss particular technologies to purify waste water and to turn it into clean water. One way to remove minerals from waste water are algae.
As orbital space settlements will get most of the energy from solar power, there is little use for biofuel. However, algae have a lot of other useful applications. Continue reading Sewage and Algae
Here another use of a fungal materials. Ecomotive is using organic waste and fungi to make a bio-degradable alternative for plastic packaging materials.
Nowadays most plastic made of petroleum (better known as “oil”), but as oil is becoming increasingly scarce alternative sources for the production of plastic is needed. Scientists have succeeded in producing a biodegradable plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide. Continue reading Plastic in the post-oil age
Many years ago the city where I lived at that time, had a nice initiative: a recycle bank. People could earn and save money by “depositing” trash. There were three categories of trash which could be turned in: paper/cardboard, plastic and textile. Each category had its own price. Continue reading Trash for Cash
In many civilized countries households pay a fee for funding the public waste disposal service. This system, however, stems from the age when garbage was dumped at landfills and waste was considered as a valueless annoyance. Though many developed countries has switched to incineration as their primary method of waste disposal, waste was and is still seen as the useless by-product of consumption. Continue reading Should households pay for waste disposal?
In space settlements recycling will be an essential part of their waste management system. In case of durable consumer goods, such a washing machines and refrigerators, we advocate a system in which these goods are leased rather than purchased. And at the end of the lease term or end of life time, the goods are returned to the manufacturer for recycling. Continue reading Recyclable clothing
One of the most important issues in any given human society, is the management of its waste disposal. And space settlements will be no exception. Of course space colonists could simply dump their waste into outer space, but this will be inefficient since this also means the loss of valuable resources. Waste management of space colonies should be based on reduce, reuse and recycling. In this post we will discuss several policies which could be implemented to achieve these 3 R’s. Continue reading Waste disposal, recycling and leasing