Ok, I wanted to quickly write up about the stuff I've been learning at those LiveGreen meetings. A couple weeks ago we talked about Toronto's waste disposal -- someone in the know explained how green bin waste is taken care of. Rather than just being cooked for a couple weeks (as some places do), it actually gets processed. First, everything's ground up into a finer mulch, to which water is added, making a slurry of guck. It is then put into a spinning tank, letting centrifugal force do the work of separating out the different parts so that heavier or lighter stuff (wood, or diaper tape, etc) is conveniently removed from the main mass. Tt this point it goes through the cooking stage (if I recall correctly, maybe not?), before it is mixed with regular soil as, by itself, it contains too much salt, etc.
I also learned that, while there are no regulations in terms of how much non-City garbage has to be recycled, private waste disposal companies are actually quite good about recycling as much as possible, as dumping (i.e. paying for space to dump on) is extremely expensive, and hence they have a strong financial motivation to recycle. Oh and City recycling is done BY HAND -- they have people on the assembly line picking out stuff, each looking for a specific kind of recyclable -- water bottles, Styrofoam, aluminum, etc. The rest is passed over and goes to the landfill. It doesn't sound like much of a job but I'd actually be willing to give up a few hours a week to help. Which in a way I guess I do when I toss out my recyclables, although mine are primarily paper flyers that I can't seem to stop from being stuffed into my mailbox -- realtors, fitness clubs, grocers, fast food places, retailers, and so on. I could make firelogs from this stuff! Although I'd imagine it'd be pretty gross smelling.
Anyway, I'll be volunteering this Saturday, at Kew Gardens, participating in an incandescent-for-LED Christmas light exchange.
Other news? I bought and installed an XFX ATI 5870 HD video card, so my machine is up and going again, though I've been fairly bound to playing casual web (Wizard's Run) and iPhone (PocketFrogs, 10PinShuffle) games. I am REALLY starting to dislike Christmas. Again. It might be better if everyone got more time off, but as it is, going to any store or mall is just nutty.