Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I've moaned about trash in four blog posts, and two videos. My husband, John Cullum, and I, even wrote a musical about a garbage disposal machine -- titled it "Roseanne." It was never submitted to producers -- two dear friends clobbered it -- Phil Burton, Richard Burton's stepfather, and Stone Widney, Alan J Lerner's right-hand man. They said -- "Forget it. People won't buy tickets. No one wants to see a musical about garbage."

So, the script sits on a shelf in my office in the trash pile of discarded projects, but I think about it -- it comes to mind Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays -- that's when we take the trash bags downstairs and the super deals with the sanitation trucks.

Like most people, I'm concerned with many other life and death crises that are happening here, where I live, and all over the world. This year, only minor media attention has been paid to the higher mountains of trash on landfills, and the islands of trash floating around in the oceans.

A silent evil it is -- dark, stinky awful. You don't have to pay attention to the world's garbage problems, though it IS a fact of life -- surviving means eating -- eating makes garbage, makes trash.

Numbers, according to wisegeek, com:
       Each of us produces about 4 ½ lbs. of garbage per day, or 29 lbs. per week, or 1,600 lbs. a year.  You could form a line of filled-up garbage trucks and reach the moon; or cover the state of Texas two-and-a-half times; bury more than 990,000 football fields under six-foot high piles of waste. We throw away enough aluminum to duplicate the full commercial air fleet of the U.S.

And let's not forget those un-disposable things -- nuclear waste that's shoved, buried, re-buried and plastic bags, and diapers.

Okay, there's some good news. Scientists can extract a substance from garbage -- succinic acid -- it's used for making machine parts. The process is tedious and costly, but they're working on making it easier and cheaper.  And from coffee grounds, furniture, odor reducing fabric, and soaps are being made.

There's talk about "gasifcation" now, and complicated machines that burn garbage . "Gasifiers" have been built and are being tested that can turn garbage into usable power, such as fuel, and electricity.


Yeah, yeah, the usual reasons -- money, approvals, committees, legislatures, laws -- even so, there's a guy who's working on creating a home-size gasifier.  If you like to build things, here's what he's doing: My Home-made Biomass Gasifier. http://bit.ly/Wbm20U

Hold the thought -- since John and I have got to trash our trash, and continue to do what we're doing for maybe another ten years, maybe ... just maybe ... NOW is the time to revise -- pull "Roseanne" out of the trash, update her, and see what producers think.   



Carola said...

I remember being shocked the last time I visited NYC and saw the trash barges lines up along East River Park - a place I used to play.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.

Peggy Bechko said...

I'd sure give "Roseanne" another chance!

Anonymous said...

Interesting and important blog today. Surprising how much trash and garbage we people accumulate over time. Yes, something needs to be done now about our landfills, etc.
Thanks for sharing this vital to our environment topic Em. kam

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog.News about landfills seems to be virtually silent. Let's hope it's not too late to take care of the growing menace.

Someone needs to find a way to convert waste into some kind of fuel or energy of some sort.

Lets not burn it. Lets find a meaniningful way to use it.

Julian Speed