[photo of a vending machine I spotted at the LCSWMA trash tour — best vending machine ever!]
EEEWW, Are You Going to Eat That?
We have some refrigerator food rules in our house: two days for fish, three for cooked veggies, a little more for grains and up to a week for meat products as long as it all passes the smell test. I consider this part of my personal Environmental Action Plan (for whoever is keeping track and thought that EEEWW was a stretch for Day 5 of #AtoZ), a way to manage not only the contents of my refrigerator, but my health as well. Food, especially cooked food, loses its nutritive value the longer it hangs around so I don’t want to waste calories on anything that’s not going to provide my body with a boost.
The same way you wouldn’t eat a week-old piece of fish because it smells funny you probably wouldn’t want to live next store to a landfill sputtering bubbles of methane into the air or an oil refinery spewing SO2, NO2, CO2 and other twos. We don’t need to be rabid environmentalists to want to breathe clean air, drink or swim in clean water, or eat pesticide-free food, right?
The people at LCSWMA, the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority know this. An abundance of creative thinking went into their environmental action plan, a model for the modern age. If you were here on Day 3 of #AtoZ we talked about composting. What about all the other stuff that can’t be composted and spread around your garden? The plastics — oh, the plastics! — the rubber, the paper goods, the poopey diapers, where does all that go? Well, LCSWMA will take it and turn it into gold, literally.
[from the LCSWMA website — the philosophy of trash]
They reduce, reduce, reduce, bringing the trash heap down to its least component parts, salvaging heavy metals like gold, silver and lead, using every part of “one man’s trash” that can be repurposed, and incinerating the rest. Then they use the ELECTRICITY generated from incineration to power neighboring communities. There’ll be more on LCSWMA in a later post and I’ll tell you the chicken story then as related to us on the tour.
Waste is a resource like anything else. All we need is to repurpose our philosophy on it. All we need is a plan and a bit of vision.