Alert Al Gore and Hillary Clinton! Capitalism has answered the call for better recycling methods, but you probably haven't heard about it. A US company, Global Resource Corporation (GRC), invented a revolutionary high-frequency microwave which recycles anything with a hydrocarbon base like plastic, rubber or automobile "scrap" into 20% diesel oil and 80% combustible gas. The Hawk-10 should reduce the amount of trash in landfills and numbers of abandoned junk piles, as well as to a lessor extent, provide some oil--all without producing (for those who care) greenhouse gasses. Aside from a handful of articles that are mostly on techie sites and in India, the major media ignored a June 26 New Scientist article about the Hawk-10.
It will now be profitable to clean up those previously useless mountains of discarded tires and old car dumps that enrage environmentalists, while reducing landfills in the process. Considering the media drum beat over oil, environmentalism and recycling, this discovery seemed like a perfect fit, but not even Katie Couric or the New York Times mentioned it. Maybe they were confused as to whether they should support or condemn the process because it creates that dastardly oil.
Here's what the media didn't tell you about how the Hawk-10 could change recycling (emphasis mine):
"Take a piece of copper wiring," says Meddick. "It is encased in plastic – a kind of hydrocarbon material. We release all the hydrocarbons, which strips the casing off the wire." Not only does the process produce fuel in the form of diesel oil and gas, it also makes it easier to extract the copper wire for recycling.
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.
You would think a discovery which would eliminate the need for legislation and public shaming to get people involved in recycling would interest the mainstream media, especially since they are entranced by anything “green."
Only time will tell if the media just haven't noticed this story yet or if they are actually downplaying or ignoring this incredible innovation.
Update: 17:20 EST:
* YouTube video of the process
* This isn't exactly news coverage--CNN Money posted GRC's press release for the Hawk-10
Above recycling image from the Washington, DC Office of Recycling website
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