I have a question. No clue whom to ask, so out into the WordPress world it goes.
This morning’s paper had a big story on how China, which is working hard toward becoming a what we used to call “first world”, isn’t wanting to take our trash any more, specifically the recycling we send over there for processing. They are concerned about the pollution from processing in their air and water.*
My question is this: what would it take to do the recycling here in the Pacific Northwest, cleanly?
I ask this because I realized that technology has been improved since the factories in China that pollute so badly were set up. It might be possible to set up clean factories today, designed and built to be so from the start.
Eastern Washington has sun and wind that can be harnessed for power, in addition to hydro (alas, Western Washington doesn’t have enough reliable sunshine to count on any solar). So does eastern Oregon, which is where a lot of our (Seattle area) landfill trash goes, and likely where the trash China rejects will wind up.
I realize that the idea isn’t sexy, but it sure seems like if we can pour vast amounts of money into building electric, self-driving cars and sending uber-rich people into space we could do something about our trash.
Second question: how does one go about finding the answer?
*Ironically the US is rushing as fast as it can to reduce regulations in order to head back down to second or third world levels. This makes me sad. I have traveled in countries with unsafe air and water; the thing I love most when I get home (after my husband and the fluff-y family) is taking a deep breath of clean air.