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Thread: waste for foreign aid

  1. #1 waste for foreign aid 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    (this is the preroughdraft to an essay I'm working on, please critique it, as much of it is based on my general understanding and not take from primary sources, I would respect particular accounts I can use to make this more specific, as well as corrections where you think I am wrong, thank you... I'm also trying to think of another global benefit for a waste exchange program: other than building materials and food waste, what useful stuff commonly goes to waste?)
    ***
    The US gives more money in foreign aid than any other country. Last year we spent $25.4 billion, almost twice as much as the next biggest donor, Germany, at $12.9 billion. Despite this we only spent .18% of our gross national income, far below the UN agreement for developed nations to increase their foreign aid to .7% GNI a year. Compare to Sweden--one of the few nations that met their foreign aid obligations--who donated .98% of their 2008 GNI. We can undoubtedly do better, and should make every effort to meet agreed obligations, as well as make up for previous shortfalls.

    We donít just need to spend more money; we need to spend it more wisely.

    One issue is with the amount of money we give for the battle against HIV. While I do not want to undercut the significance of HIV, I feel itís important to keep in mind that HIV, however deadly, is not the most deadly disease, malaria is. The fact that HIV has more of a presence in developed countries than malaria and other mosquito born diseases, suggests to me that what the donor countries want, plays a bigger role than what the recipient needs most, and what the numbers show to be a far more significant problem. This is understandable; nations can do what they want with their money, but should not be hiding self preservation under the guise of altruism.

    Protecting people form malaria--through vector control, such as providing window screens, ceiling panels and insecticide coated bed-nets--also has the added benefit of protecting people from all the other diseases these bugs spread. But some people cannot afford to buy window screens. I donít know what itís like in these places, but here in the US, many people are throwing away their old window screens--along with the rest of the window--when they get new the new vinyl ones. We throw away ceiling panels when they get torn or dented, and old metal screen doors, for the newer vinyl one because it doesnít make a crashing sound when it slams shut.

    A waste exchange program can be implemented to appropriate useable building materials for developing countries suffering from mosquito spread illnesses. Since malaria needs both mosquitoes and humans to spread, the less bites, the closer we are to eliminating the disease entirely. Bug screens played a big role in eliminating most malaria from the US and European countries in the early 1900s.

    In addition to combating mosquito born illnesses, we can use a comprehensive waste exchange program to help fight malnutrition.

    Since our consumption patterns are so unpredictable, businesses need to stock more than enough food products, and individuals even purchase more than enough for themselves and their families: much of this goes to waste. Now, donít get me wrong. This is the type of behavior our economy feeds on.

    But all of this food waste can be made into compost, to fertilize soils and grow more food.

    Compost is one of the most useful things in the world. There are some people who would literally kill for a steady supply, just so they can grow enough food for their communities. Instead we spend money on itís ďmanagementĒ which constitutes forgetting it exists; mixing it with toxic chemicals; and either burning it, or locking it up.

    (I need to think of a conclusion)


    Dick, be Frank.

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  3. #2  
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    I like it alot.

    Not really familiar with bugs screens (Vancouver), but I do know North American sliding glass door panes are standard sized. I've exploited that to build glass awnings very cheap, and my father did a few solariums likewise. If you reckon about one pane per North American (two double-glazed panes per house or apartment makes four) you get about 1,000 square kilometers of heavy safety glass. That's enough to greenhouse the entire Gaza Strip and still give the Israelis twice as much to keep them happy. Or greenhouse all of Dartmoor, or Indianapolis. A poor country with that kind of asset would grow self-sufficient in food & water, and wealthy with the exports.

    Vancouver has a backyard composting program. The plastic bins were delivered at subsidy... I think free if you said you couldn't afford one. Now we have all these bins full of thoroughly rotted kitchen & yard waste and no one knows what to do with it. Urban vegetable gardens are raised beds and can't take additional material. It's a failure that way. There's no compost pickup. Collection isn't possible with the existing bins.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    good point, I didn't think of greenhouses, thanks
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Vancouver has a backyard composting program.
    Ditto Denver

    The plastic bins were delivered at subsidy... I think free if you said you couldn't afford one.
    Free for us, but obviously paid for by taxes.

    Now we have all these bins full of thoroughly rotted kitchen & yard waste and no one knows what to do with it. Urban vegetable gardens are raised beds and can't take additional material. It's a failure that way. There's no compost pickup. Collection isn't possible with the existing bins.
    Our bins are designed for pickup by city trucks. It's hauled away to a central composting facility, turned into compost and sold back to gardeners or used in city parks for flower beds. That's the good news. The bad news is the program's being cancelled next spring because it's losing funding. Compost sales don't come close to covering the cost and the city can't contemplate higher taxes just to improve the environment.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I would assume money is saved, since the waste either has to be stored or incinerated. No?
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  7. #6  
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    Surely Denver city hall did the accounting, and found that any way they look at it, they lose money. I imagine the killer is pickup crew wages. Eh, unions... more levels of wrangling. Sorry marcusclayman.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    damn them bleedin heart liberals and their starvation army(just kidding)


    I've always thought it would be cheaper to centralize garbage pickup more. There is no reason not to: if you don't have the time(which based on average tv time, you probably do), you should have money to pay some kid to carry your garbage down the block.
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  9. #8  
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    In Japan they have cinderblock nooks where everybody stuffs their garbage. Recycling is quaint: you have to tightly bundle paper with twine, and deliver glass smashed in a bag. I think it's mainly to compact the waste, for efficient collection by tiny trucks.

    North American lot sizes dictate what we can and can't do. Doing something by car or truck is probably the most efficient if not the only way. Density is too low for walking to the community anything. This perpetuates because households want to own several large vehicles and the space to park them. And where the density is higher, leases are too steep for a peanut business like Joe's Bottle Depot. Joe cant pay what a parkade can.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Surely Denver city hall did the accounting, and found that any way they look at it, they lose money. I imagine the killer is pickup crew wages. Eh, unions... more levels of wrangling. Sorry marcusclayman.
    I'm not sure of the details but I think there was grant from a non-profit to get the program started. That was a one-time thing and now it's up to the city to find a way to keep it going. They haven't asked me if I'd be willing to pay a monthly fee (I might, depending on how much).
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Pong, the higher the population density the more cost effictive trash pickup becomes.

    There is the same amount of trash, whether it's consolidated or not. When it's consolidated the trash truck needs to accelerate and stop much less than when trash is in front of everyone's house.

    Also, it will take less time to pick up trash, saving on labor costs. And cause much less wear and tear on the vehicle which spends most of it's time accelerating and decelerating. This can all provide it's own incentive in the form of tax cuts.

    Take for example a suburb where there is a pile of trash every 30m on average(and this is a pretty lightly populated suburb)

    if every 300m there was a shared garbage area, with dumpsters and various sorting bins; the truck would have to make one stop, for 10 households, and then move on down to the next stop.

    As for what effort it would take on the part of each individual, you'd have to walk at most 150m, carrying little more than 2.5kg per person per day, on average(estimated from various municipal averages)



    This is a hassle in only the sense that people are used to being able to put trash in front of their house. It is not a hassle though, compared to the people who have to drive miles to the transfer station.

    It is also not so much a hassle if presented with a choice, higher taxes, or waste management reform
    Dick, be Frank.

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