Apparently, a recycle program 2.0 is needed. The good earth provides a cornucopia of goods for us, but cannot cope with the excrement we leave behind. I suppose we must consume less and/or learn how to properly recycle. Reducing the number of consumers would probably reduce consumption and waste, and such a reduction may occur whether planned or not.
Funny how 50+ years ago all the paper, metal & glass recycling was handled domestically - mostly by small local concerns.
Suddenly at some point it all became trash for years, and then...
OH NO - WE MUST RECYCLE !!!
(And somehow it became economical to ship megatonnage of it around the planet ~10000 miles ?!?)
And now that destination is over with.
Perhaps it is time to quit cutting down forests and find ways to make new homes out of all those mountains of spurned recyclables ??
I'm not sure I want my grand-kids living in houses made of re-cycled waste that contains who knows what hazardous substances. What do you think?
I think for generations we've lived in houses made of non-recycled substances that contain who-knows-what hazardous substances-- lead paint, asbestos, outgassing wood materials & vinyl, etc.
I suspect that properly and carefully recycled materials need not be more hazardous.
Als, we are already living in terribly toxic places & most think otherwise;
Workplaces can be even worse - but again - it depends upon one's percetion of 'normal'.
My assertion for a long time, since hearing of it - is the universally available material beneath our feet (under all the pavements ??) - dirt - sand - silica - which can be used to make structural glass, a nearly unknown material.
2nd to that have a look here:
Ceramic Houses and Earth Architecture: How to Build Your Own
By Nader Khalili
Publisher: Cal-Earth Press
Published: Dec 1990
Nader Khalili first describes his revolutionary techniques of "earth architecture" in Racing Alone. Here he offers a step-by-step guide to the simple and natural process of using clay-earth to build adobe houses and fire the structures with potters' glaze to create ceramic houses. His techniques, which integrate graphics, sculpture, art, and architecture, are easy to follow and apply. Khalili's techniques can be used successfully by anyone who wants to build an inexpensive, durable, and energy-efficient house that fully expresses the individual's taste and imagination. Whether you want to build one of your own or simply learn more about the process, Ceramic Houses describes both the ancient and modern techniques of building with the elements available to everyone: earth, water, air and fire.
And...we =>DO<= need to find good/better uses for the mountains of refuse, even if it is somehow to make fuels out of it - we cannot keep laying waste to the only home we've got.
I do think it's possible to recycle and reuse our discarded materials in a safe and non hazardous manner, but, sad to say, I think it's unlikely that we'll do so in the foreseeable future because doing so would be much more expensive than we had previously imagined, and I don't believe we're currently concerned enough to pay the bill. I think the initial assumption that, once scaled up, recycling our waste would be relatively inexpensive, but now we can see that it will cost a great deal more to do it properly. Only when we have suffered enough from our inability to act for the long haul, will we really get serious about our consumption and waste products.
Houses: The "Anasazi", who were here long before us, is a good example of using the earth to build nice homes, often with wonderful views. And their waste products, which were few, ended up far from them, thousands of feet down at the bottom of cliffs they resided on.