On the Trail of Our Garbage Trucks

Where in the world are our cell phones going? It shouldn’t be as difficult to answer this question as it is to find Carmen Sandiego.

MIT’s Senseable City Lab produced an award-winning Trash Track website which shows that it does take some sleuthing to find the final resting places of our waste. Here’s their video which excavates the fate of garbage from Seattle. While viewing this, remember that this video covers a limited time period; in 20 years, these batteries and cell phones may migrate elsewhere.

Because we live in a closed ecological system, what we have on this planet stays here (unless we send it out to orbit in space). And, one way or another, our garbage will be reused.

Like petroleum, which is made of compressed swamp residue – imagine the Everglades being buried for thousands of years – yesterday’s trash will become tomorrow’s treasure…. or, at least, tomorrow’s fast food packaging.

Our descendants will work with whatever we make – wherever we leave it for them. Think of it as a partly recyclable, sometimes toxic inheritance. This is one reason that I write about DIY.

Even sea animals may live inside bottles or reuse bits of glass. The video below shows that some of them already do.

4 thoughts on “On the Trail of Our Garbage Trucks

  1. Three of my favorites…
    History Channel “Crude” – We are to future oil what the dinosaurs are to us !

    “Garbage Dreams” on DVD – Why recycling has opponents !

    “The Story of Stuff” – Simple short & able to start debate !

    I hope to use DVD today as 16mm was in the 60’s when landing on the moon was the facination of the world.

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