A little bit about some path – and non-path – items this morning.
My weekly haul set out this morning for the recycling truck weighed about 30 pounds. I may need to recalculate the yearly poundage that is summarily removed from circulation. If this week’s total holds true in a week-by-week average, that works out to more than 1,500 lbs. liberated from my immediate environment. What’s depressing is this: my path is one single 2.5 mile stretch. How many miles are in Charlotte that are trashy and unkempt?
So there is a use for plastic bags beyond hauling groceries and merchandise (and my trash).
Researchers at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center say oil-based plastic bags can be converted in diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products.
The conversion from plastic to useful fuel is significantly higher – 80 percent – when compared to the 50 – 55 percent fuel from the distillation of petroleum crude oil.
Shopping bags have other recyclable uses, too: gasoline, waxes, lubricating oils and natural gas.
All the more reason to recycle.
The North Carolina Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is a day late and a dollar short when it comes to protecting the public after the Feb. 2 “spill” of millions of tons of contaminant-laden coal ash from a Duke Energy holding pond into the Dan River.
Only on Feb. 28 did the DENR issue other “Enforcement Actions” against several other Duke-owned plants with adjacent coal ash ponds that hold potential for similar environmental disasters. The DENR denies a cozy relationship with Duke but media reports belie those assertions.
The DENR also says it will begin to sample tissue from fish to gauge the extent of the damage to organisms wholly dependent on the Dan. The DENR will follow up next year with similar tests to see if the river has cleansed itself. If they find fish tissue to be a ‘recyclable material’ because of all the metals and chemicals contained therein, then we’re all in trouble.