In orbital space settlements water recycling is essential. So it is quite worrisome when we read the following article on ScienceDaily:
Get over it? When it comes to recycled water, consumers won’t
To cite from this article (my emphasis):
If people are educated on recycled water, they may come to agree it’s perfectly safe and tastes as good — or better — than their drinking water. They may even agree it’s an answer to the critical water imbalance in California. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to use recycled water — and it sure doesn’t mean they’ll drink it.
The problem is that educated people are disgusted to use a perfectly safe product that is necessary for staying alive. Perhaps people should not think too much about the origin of their tap water – if education is apparently not sufficient in this case.
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:
Continue reading Automated waste collection and separation
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.
Continue reading MycoFoam
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?