Monday, November 23, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Treatment PlantLike death and taxes, garbage is inevitable. And with environmental concerns growing, cities across the globe are searching for smarter ways to dispose of their trash.

Sydney and Santa Barbara are among the cities that are now working with Arrow Ecology, an Israeli company whose revolutionary, ecologically sensible method sorts huge volumes of solid waste, salvages recyclables, and turns the rest into "green" biogas and rich agricultural compost.
The ArrowBio patented system takes trash directly from collection trucks and separates organic and inorganic materials through gravitational settling, screening, and hydro-mechanical shredding.

The process is similar to panning for gold. The water used by ArrowBio comes from the moisture in the trash. Any excess water is discharged into the public sewage system or biological treatment plant. Similarly, a small fraction of the resulting methane biogas powers the process itself and the rest is made available for municipal energy needs.

The system can handle any proportion of organic-to-inorganic waste. In the Middle East and Asia, biodegradable organic matter may comprise up to 90 percent of the waste stream, while European and North American municipal solid waste generally contains less than 50 percent organics. The flexibility of the system is the key to its success in locales as diverse as California, Australia, Greece, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Israel.

The facility in Sydney, for example, was installed in July 2008 and treats 270 tons of municipal solid waste every day - diverting the equivalent of 9,000 garbage trucks per year from landfills, and generating greenhouse gas savings equivalent to taking about 8,000 cars off the road. An ArrowBio plant that has been operational at the Hiriya landfill site since December 2003 serves the Tel Aviv area, and processes up to 150 tons of garbage a day.

Source: Israel21c

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