Friday, August 15, 2008

Polyflow to keep plastics out of landfills

I first heard about Polyflow this past May at an E4S meeting in Akron and blogged about this amazing new process to convert plastics into a liquid that can be used to create new products. Unfortunately, I didn't spell the company's name correctly. (Corrections have been made to that post as of today.) Thanks to a report I watched on WKYC TV 3 last night, I realized that I had linked to the wrong company. Polyflow is actually in Akron and is in the process of patenting its process so that it can eventually build processing centers across the United Sates and eventually around the world. From the Polyflow website:
Polyflow cracks mixed polymer waste back to its building blocks, monomers. These monomers, normally derived from crude oil and natural gas are used by the petrochemical industry to make polymers.
Polyflow is revolutionary because it will end two major hassles with recycling plastics: 1. The materials do not need to be cleaned of any residue, plastic tape, stickers, lables and so on. 2. We will no longer need to separate plastics from our trash according to number. Currently, only plastics one and two are recyclable in Akron and most other cities. Everything else ends up in the landfill, where it breaks down into toxic components that are capable of leaching out into the water table and the surrounding earth and air.

If you want to see the process in action, Polyflow has a really cool video at their web site. You will see how the process not only transforms the plastics, it also separates out the metals for recycling as well and the entire process will reduce greehouse gases by 70% If this process lives up to what is claimed, we will reduce our dependence upon foreign oil by 7%. It will also reduce the loads dumped into landfills, which might upset the folks at the Summit-Akron Solid Waste Authority. According to this ABJ report, the waste authority gets its funding based upon the amount of stuff that is dumped into the landfills!

Anybody see a huge problem with having an agency to monitor landfills that is funded in such a manner? They are complaining because the amount of waste dumped has decreased! You see, the waste authority is paid $5 per ton to fund their operation. Nobody seems to know why the amount of trash has decreased. It would be nice to think that more and more people have decided enough with this toxic consumerist way of life and are busy freecycling their old junk instead.

We do need an agency to monitor our waste disposal systems for the safety and health of us all. But in light of the advent of Polyflow, perhaps the waste authority should be paid $5 for every ton per year decrease in stuff sent to the landfill. That would be an incentive for the agency to find even more ways to decrease the waste.

Meanwhile, good luck to Polyflow. I sure hope that we in Akron are the first to benefit from this process -- wouldn't that be something to blog about!


The Green Cat said...

Wow, this looks awesome. Thanks for posting the link. I'm curious to learn more about this process.

Village Green said...

Thanks for visiting! Do check out the video -- it takes you through the process from beginning to end.