Mayor Street Shows there really are two Americas

Philly’s Mayor Street camps out in line to buy iPhone

Mayor John F. Street was among a handful of people sitting in lawn chairs and shielding themselves from the rain as they waited for the Apple iPhone to go on sale at an AT&T store today.

In this America, even Mayors of large cities have to wait in line like the rest of us.

In the other America, John Edwards’ America, presidential candidates have aides try to get them PlayStations.

Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil

Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil – earth – 26 June 2007 – New Scientist Environment

A US company is taking plastics recycling to another level – turning them back into the oil they were made from, and gas.

All that is needed, claims Global Resource Corporation (GRC), is a finely tuned microwave and – hey presto! – a mix of materials that were made from oil can be reduced back to oil and combustible gas (and a few leftovers).

Key to GRC’s process is a machine that uses 1200 different frequencies within the microwave range, which act on specific hydrocarbon materials. As the material is zapped at the appropriate wavelength, part of the hydrocarbons that make up the plastic and rubber in the material are broken down into diesel oil and combustible gas.

Gershow Recycling, a scrap metal company based in New York, US, has just said it will be the first to buy a Hawk-10. Gershow collects metal products, shreds them and turns them into usable pure metals. Most of its scrap comes from old cars, but for every ton of steel that the company recovers, between 226 kg and 318 kg of “autofluff” is produced.

Autofluff is the stuff that is left over after a car has been shredded and the steel extracted. It contains plastics, rubber, wood, paper, fabrics, glass, sand, dirt, and various bits of metal. GRC says its Hawk-10 can extract enough oil and gas from the left-over fluff to run the Hawk-10 itself and a number of other machines used by Gershow.

Because it makes extracting reusable metal more efficient and evaporates water from autofluff, the Hawk-10 should also reduce the amount of end material that needs to be deposited in landfill sites.

Sounds excellent if it proves successful. It should reduce our waste and our demand for oil. Win-win-win.

Hat Tip: The Corner