Above, one of three mounds at the Seneca Meadows Landfill in Waterloo, NY, as seen from the west side of Seneca Lake approximately eight miles away (through a telephoto lens). Credit: Kevin Colton, HWS.

EPA Region Map

EPA Region Map
EPA Region Map

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Forgotten Waste: Water, Heat, and Electricity

So we are now 3.5 weeks into the semester and I have only taken the trash in my room out once (This could mean that I am just a messy person). On the other hand I have taken the recycling out three times (mostly paper). Im not saying that I don't produce trash, because I definitely do. I just don't produce much in my room. Because of this fact I have decided to concentrate my efforts of reducing trash on other places.
The first main area I am going to reduce my waste in is in the bathroom. Like most people I like long hot showers. Unfortunately, there are literally tons of waste that accompanies this luxury. To produce the energy to heat up, move, and clean the water requires combustion of something. Depending on the source any number of waste products can result such as ash, uranium, or particulates and gasses. This all (gasses excepted) goes to a land fill. Then the water is used once and sent down the drain to the WWT plant where it is "treated" to removing most waste products which are then sent to the landfill. To reduce my waste in this area I am going to strictly limit my shower time to 3 minutes and see where that gets me.
The second problem area I have identified is heating. Again some sort of combustion and associated waste is happening in order to make my room the temperature that it is. On occasion my heater and I get into a huge fight. when this happens temperature is usually to hot so my window ends up open. Then the heater goes into overdrive to try and keep the room warm despite my attempts to cool it down. I am now going to avoid this fight altogether by not opening a window and instead opening the hall door.

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