Waste: the “ugly face” of Cape Town and Putting a Lid on America’s Trash Trail –

As with many global cities, Cape Town faces a problem: Where to put out trash?”, with low levels of actual recycling taking place older African cities with existing infrastructure tasking strain and more or less developed economy levels of consumption – according to Engineering News

” Cape Town’s 3,2-million residents produce some 6 000 t/d of waste, which 
is an average of 2 kg/d for each person. With waste generation growing at 
7% a year, the city’s landfill sites at 
Vissershok, Bellville South and Strand-fontein are almost filled to capacity.”

CAPE LANDFILLS The city’s landfill sites at Vissershok, Bellville South and Strandfontein are almost filled to capacity

– there has to be a better way than building massive artificial dunes, as at Strandfontein, Cape Town. Its not that its all doom and gloom, a lot is being done by South African authorities such as initiatives by the City of Cape Town , its just that our media driven consumptive lifestyles and outdated management paradigms are simply not coping with the mountains of waste we generate!

How we cause the change from these and other ways of living that cause the problem to ones that make us part of the solution is the cliche that needs the most research:

In a related a report from onearthKATHERINE BAGLEY discusses these problem in the context of New York:

New York City spends more than $1 million a day dumping its trash in other states. There’s a better way.”

Driving west out of Manhattan across the George Washington Bridge, Hilario Vergara rolled down his window and took a deep drag from his Sonoma cigarette. Balmy air rushed into the Freightliner 18-wheeler cab, rustling the yellow-lined paper on the dashboard. It was covered with hand-scrawled directions to the Conestoga Landfill.

The truck’s engine groaned under the weight of 47 tons of trash being hauled from New York City to Morgantown, Pennsylvania, a small community of 4,000 people that is also home to one of the state’s three largest landfills. Every day, trucks from New York and other parts of the Northeast bring approximately 7,000 tons of solid waste to Morgantown — enough to fill roughly 330 dump trucks.

Along Route 176-S, piles of shredded garbage clogged the drainage ditches. In the rearview mirror, I watched ripped plastic bags dance in the wind, stirred up by the back tires of our trailer. To the left, behind a single row of trees, perfectly shaped rolling hills ran alongside the road. “That’s Conestoga,” Vergara said, pointing to the mounds. “I’m guessing all this trash blew off the trucks coming in this morning.”

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Bon Voyage? Visualizing Where Trash Travels (via Encountering Urbanization)

Where does our waste go when we dump it in the trash or even if we recycle it? Here are some answers for American junk – I wonder how much of ours is recycled into things we get back again in a another form? We (Cape Town residents) are not currently very good as our city does not collect separated waste- nor are our voluntary processes great – but if you take some effort – like my good wife – then you can take your sorted paper, plastic, metal tins and glass to the local dump where eager hands will sort it further for recycling. We need to do more of that and our systems should “learn: to support us!

Bon Voyage? Visualizing Where Trash Travels Being so soon after the New York blizzard melted and revealed mammoth piles of frozen garbage hiding in piles of dirty snow, it seems an inopportune time to talk about visualizing waste. Most city dwellers see plenty of it every day. But our trash is taking a pretty interesting journey from city to city, continent to continent. The three stories below give us glimpses into the path our garbage takes and the people behind converting it from waste … Read More

via Encountering Urbanization