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View Full Version : Why not just drop trash into volcanoes?


CheeseDonkey
02-04-2011, 03:13 PM
Some claim that our planet has too much trash on it. So why don't we just drop it into volcanoes?

I have read that by doing so, it will turn into ash and float up into the sky and pollute the planet even more.

But, why don't they put the trash in giant steel containers. The trash will burn on the inside of the container before the container itself melts. When the container finally does melt, it will "contain" all the ash, thus keeping it from floating up towards the sky.

JSexton
02-04-2011, 03:15 PM
Have you ever put an aerosol can in a fire? No? You're proposing putting bombs in volcanos.

running coach
02-04-2011, 03:23 PM
There are few active volcanoes at any one time(active as in open pool of lava). That would mean dumping in trash while the volcano is erupting.

Do you have any idea how much trash is produced in one day across the country?

How do you propose to transport all that trash and get it into the volcano?

Harmonious Discord
02-04-2011, 03:24 PM
You can burn it locally for much cheaper and that saves people money.

Hampshire
02-04-2011, 03:24 PM
The problem isn't that we have too much trash on the planet, it's that we have too much trash condensed in certain places.
If we could transfer all of New Jersey's trash out to the middle of North Dakota there would be space a plenty to put it. It's just not economically feasible to transport it there. Putting it into individual metal containers and dumping it into a volcano would be even more expensive.

Washoe
02-04-2011, 03:33 PM
WAG: it’s too valuable a commodity to waste by tossing it down a volcano. It’s more financially lucrative to use it to fill indentations in the Earth, pack it with soil on top, and build on top of it. Not to mention half a zillion other practical reasons, such as the cost of this hypothetical volcano scenario, and the simple fact that volcanos are not what we thought they were when we were little kids—they’re not holes leading to the center of the Earth. If you fell into a volcano, you’re not going to plunge into a pool of lava. Also, all the good volcanos are located in places where the Mafia doesn’t maintain branch offices. They’d be notably upset if we just willy-nilly took their jobs away from them and outsourced them to the Indonesians.

Lemur866
02-04-2011, 03:34 PM
What wrong with the idea of digging a big hole and dumping the trash in there?

We have plenty of space to dump trash. The landfill crisis that was in the news during the 80s was simply because lots of east coast cities had created landfills in the 50s but those landfills were reaching capacity and no new landfills had been opened for a long time. What was the solution? To open new landfills. Problem solved.

CheeseDonkey
02-04-2011, 03:50 PM
You guys are right. Ideas like these always sound good in the brain, but when fleshed out they don't always seem to work so well.

Al Bundy
02-04-2011, 04:37 PM
I don't see how it would be economically productive. We don't have volcanoes on every corner. Trash is bulky and expensive to transport. If you change it into sludge first, that somewhat defeats the objective of free disposal. Once you got close enough to the volcano, actually dumping it is would represent another engineering problem. And it would be a changing problem as the volcano changed it's schedule and face. Volcanoes are not stable and predictable. Nope. Better to pile the trash up and cover it with dirt for a hill you can ski on and power the lights with. Save your money and go visit Hawaii.

msmith537
02-04-2011, 04:39 PM
The problem isn't that we have too much trash on the planet, it's that we have too much trash condensed in certain places.
If we could transfer all of New Jersey's trash out to the middle of North Dakota there would be space a plenty to put it. It's just not economically feasible to transport it there. Putting it into individual metal containers and dumping it into a volcano would be even more expensive.

I wish I could transfer all of New Jersey out to the middle of North Dakota.





You guys are right. Ideas like these always sound good in the brain,

That's because you weren't listening closely enough.:D

Duckster
02-04-2011, 05:18 PM
If we could transfer all of New Jersey's trash out to the middle of North Dakota there would be space a plenty to put it.

So why would North Dakotans have to put up with someone else's mess. And all the free space you think is out there is providing food that keeps those Jerseyites alive, not to mention acting as a natural pollution scrubber for the air you breathe. Then there's the potential pollution of the watershed used to grow the agriculture Jerseyites consume.

Rather than push the trash onto someone else and some other place, it's better to reduce production of the waste first.

Chronos
02-04-2011, 05:31 PM
And all the free space you think is out there is providing food that keeps those Jerseyites aliveNot nearly. Even if the entire state were covered with farms (it's not), just the corners of the square lots that don't get irrigated would be by far more than enough.

Stranger On A Train
02-04-2011, 06:03 PM
I wish I could transfer all of New Jersey out to the middle of North Dakota.Who would you have to make fun of, then?

Stranger

wheresmymind
02-04-2011, 06:08 PM
To put things into perspective the famous Fresh Kills landfill, once considered the largest manmade structure on the planet, covered 2,200 acres, or about 3.5 square miles. The Apex landfill in Nevada, currently the largest in the US, covers a similar area. So a few dozen square miles of total landfill area could contain a large portion of the waste we produce. We don't even need a tiny fraction of South Dakota to put it. A tiny fraction of Rhode Island would do just fine, if you're only worried about space.

Stranger On A Train
02-04-2011, 06:14 PM
One suspects that the residents of Rhode Island would take exception.

Delaware, on the other hand, would be happy to accommodate so long as they get corporate revenue from it.

Stranger

D_Odds
02-04-2011, 06:23 PM
Who would you have to make fun of, then?

StrangerPennsylvanians

Contrapuntal
02-04-2011, 06:25 PM
How do you propose to transport all that trash and get it into the volcano?Xenu's Space Fleet?

Der Trihs
02-04-2011, 06:48 PM
Besides the other problems mentioned:

But, why don't they put the trash in giant steel containers. The trash will burn on the inside of the container before the container itself melts. When the container finally does melt, it will "contain" all the ash, thus keeping it from floating up towards the sky.The lava might not be all that liquid; your container could just sit/float on top as it melts. And even if it sinks that won't keep the result of the incineration from bubbling op to the surface. And steel is useful material, not something to be thrown away.

Or the volcano could suffer a violent eruption and what's left of the container and contents land miles away.

GreasyJack
02-04-2011, 06:57 PM
You could just stockpile the trash near a volcano and then incinerate it while the volcano is erupting. Nature seems to get a free pass on its air pollution and who's gonna notice a little extra smoke and ash, right?

t-bonham@scc.net
02-04-2011, 07:08 PM
WAG: it’s too valuable a commodity to waste by tossing it down a volcano.This.
Here in Minneapolis, about 45% of the 'trash' is recycled, and used to produce more glass bottles, aluminum cans, etc. And most of the remainder is burned in a plant that heats many of the downtown buildings. And the burner is centrally located, thus reducing the gas spent transporting trash. They are now talking about diverting organic material into a composting system, for use by the city parks system.

If you stop thinking of it as trash, and think of it as fuel, suddenly it seems quite different.

Stranger On A Train
02-04-2011, 07:57 PM
PennsylvaniansIt doesn't roll off the tongue like "New Joisey".

Stranger

panache45
02-04-2011, 09:00 PM
The trash will burn on the inside of the container before the container itself melts. When the container finally does melt, it will "contain" all the ash, thus keeping it from floating up towards the sky.

If you mean drop it directly into magma, do you have any idea how hot that is? Your "container" would melt instantly.

CheeseDonkey
02-04-2011, 09:43 PM
If you mean drop it directly into magma, do you have any idea how hot that is? Your "container" would melt instantly.

And just one split second before that, all the trash inside would be burnt to a crisp, with the steel melting over it making it so I won't float into the sky.

Magiver
02-04-2011, 10:57 PM
You can burn it locally for much cheaper and that saves people money. Technically, you can burn it locally and MAKE money by using it to make electricity. There are 100 such plants in the United States and 400 of them in Europe.

Lobohan
02-04-2011, 11:10 PM
PennsylvaniansI'm picturing a reality show with an Amish dude holding up his button-less shirt to reveal rock-hard abs.

Shamozzle
02-04-2011, 11:13 PM
Aren't there power plants being developed or already in existence that basically vaporize garbage with a plasma arc down to its constituent atoms while generating enough excess electricity to perpetuate the power plant? If so, isn't that the answer?

levdrakon
02-04-2011, 11:17 PM
Like a really big Mr. Fusion?

BaneSidhe
02-04-2011, 11:32 PM
Aren't there power plants being developed or already in existence that basically vaporize garbage with a plasma arc down to its constituent atoms while generating enough excess electricity to perpetuate the power plant? If so, isn't that the answer?

I could have sworn I read an article online last year that said the City of Ottawa was working on building something like this.

Rhythmdvl
02-05-2011, 12:10 AM
It would have been a good idea until those hippie do-gooders got their way in the 80s and 90s. Now that there is so much recycling going on, it's impossible to tell what part of the garbage stream contains recycled materials and what part of it is virgin materials. Everyone knows the latter is the only acceptable volcano fodder.

wolf11469
02-05-2011, 01:07 AM
I could have sworn I read an article online last year that said the City of Ottawa was working on building something like this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_arc_waste_disposal

Washoe
02-05-2011, 01:29 AM
Xenu's Space Fleet?

Hobbits.

Heracles
02-05-2011, 08:32 AM
(...) Also, all the good volcanos are located in places where the Mafia doesn’t maintain branch offices. They’d be notably upset if we just willy-nilly took their jobs away from them and outsourced them to the Indonesians.

One word: Etna.

BigT
02-05-2011, 08:37 AM
It would have been a good idea until those hippie do-gooders got their way in the 80s and 90s. Now that there is so much recycling going on, it's impossible to tell what part of the garbage stream contains recycled materials and what part of it is virgin materials. Everyone knows the latter is the only acceptable volcano fodder.

Not recycling and getting rid of the stuff as fuel might help the economy: we'd have to make all new stuff instead, and we'd have to get that new stuff from somewhere....

smithsb
02-05-2011, 11:03 AM
One word: Etna.

You could just stockpile the trash near a volcano and then incinerate it while the volcano is erupting. Nature seems to get a free pass on its air pollution and who's gonna notice a little extra smoke and ash, right?

Actually, this is the plan in Naples, Italy. Stockpile in the streets* and wait for Mt. Vesuvius to do it's thing.


*Naples is "known" for frequent public service strikes; sometimes the Army is called out to clear the streets.

chorpler
02-05-2011, 05:48 PM
And just one split second before that, all the trash inside would be burnt to a crisp, with the steel melting over it making it so I won't float into the sky.

I don't know -- it might take more time to transmit the heat evenly through the entire container than it would take for the steel to melt.

And even assuming it didn't, I don't understand what you're saying -- the gas produced by the burning trash (making the further assumption that all the trash was completely burnable) would just bubble up out into the sky as soon as the steel container melted, wouldn't it?

pkbites
02-05-2011, 05:54 PM
bombs in volcanos.

Band name! :cool:

Or a really weird love song!:eek:

CheeseDonkey
02-05-2011, 06:19 PM
I don't know -- it might take more time to transmit the heat evenly through the entire container than it would take for the steel to melt.

And even assuming it didn't, I don't understand what you're saying -- the gas produced by the burning trash (making the further assumption that all the trash was completely burnable) would just bubble up out into the sky as soon as the steel container melted, wouldn't it?

Yeah, I was being facetious in that last post.

Jonathan Chance
02-05-2011, 08:05 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_arc_waste_disposal

Interesting, said the City Council candidate. What sort of megawattage are we looking at from these?

constanze
02-07-2011, 06:29 AM
Why are you people still calling it trash? Over here, it's become Ressources. Besides recycling as much as possible of the current stuff (which is much more than 30 years back, because of new technology) and burning the rest for heat/power, there's also "urban mining" - using the rubble of demolished buildings (sorted at the site itself) to build new houses, and also opening old landfills to re-sort valuable recycable material that was just dumped in the 50s and 60s (this is different from re-opening landfills in the 70s and 80s that had been badly constructed and were leaking contaminants into the groundwater).