Katrina Waste Stretches Around The World

The Sydney Morning Herald, via Reuters, reports that the waste from Hurricane Katrina’s tangle with New Orleans amounts to an estimated 22 million tonnes. According the article, the debris now in south-eastern Louisiana would fill 3.5 million garbage trucks. A spokesman for the US Army Corps of Engineers is quoted as saying "The trucks would stretch 36,500 miles [58,728 kilometres]. They would reach all the way around the Earth at the equator and you would still have enough trucks left over to stretch from New York to Denver," One particularly disturbing note in the piece relates to the damaged cars. Estimates as high as 300,000 totalled vehicles have been made. Strangely the tyres are being stripped for recycling, but all the remaining metal is apparently headed to landfill. Surely it has to be cheaper to re-smelt them, instead of digging fresh iron ore out of the ground. As we’ve noted before using recycled steel can give energy savings of 75%. Sure hope Reuters got it wrong. [Pic from ABC News Katrina gallery] ::Sydney Morning Herald

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