Think about how your understanding of recycling affects your lifestyle - we generally drop the recyclables curbside, go back inside and literally wash our hands. For many of us, personal knowledge of what's beyond the curb is from the memory of a grade-school tour or college lecture.
I'm probably also safe in assuming that very few of our readers have seen the inner workings of a modern landfill or incinerator. More of us, I know, will have been to the loading dock of a recycling center. But, how much do we really understand about how leading edge recycling centers operate? The technologies they might use?
There have been many changes since that school tour. Your father's junkyard or tip no longer exist as you knew them. And, recycling centers near urban centers can have a wide variety of updated technologies.
Offering a Second Life-styled glimpse into the the post curbside world of waste management, Waste Management (the corporation) goes live today with ThinkGreen. Got an itchy click finger? Dive into the bowels of a landfill or tour the recovery center. When you return, we do have a bit more to say.One of Waste Management's purposes in offering ThinkGreen is to help customers take personal responsibility for making service choices that match their own expectations.
There's an educational component as well - one that Waste Management people think is suitable for K through adult learning. The hope is that, for those who chose to "ThinkGreen," the "Four Rs:" (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover) will become a more powerful lifestyle shaping idea, especially for post-1980's generations which did not grow up with the 4-R's lexicon.
It's particularly important to keep in mind that very few communities have access to the full array of waste management technologies. Single stream recycling and incinerators with energy and metal recovery technology are examples of relatively rare technologies.
If you work for or are commissioned by local government, or advocating for new options for waste management in your community, ThinkGreen may be just the thing to help orient decision makers and voters. So send them a link.
Image credit::Waste Management, Inc., Think Green