Trash, litter, rubbish. Disposing of materials we no longer want or can no longer use generates waste. Common kinds of waste include municipal solid waste, wastewater, and hazardous waste. This is a page dedicated towards the development and exploration of Public Lab tools and resources to help understand the world of waste. Ideas range from landfill monitoring and mapping landfills to developing a trash can with built-in scale and household composting bin. _Lead image: @a1ahna, CC BY SA_ ### Questions [questions:waste] ### Activities [activities:waste] ### Research notes [notes:waste] ### Projects and resources: - Tracking Boston's municipal solid waste (from Claire): https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=forums&srcid=MDg4NzcxNDk1MTQ0NzAzNDA0MjMBMDA1MDI1MTE0MjY5MzA5OTEyOTUBTXo5VHRzM2lTdnNKATQBAXYy - EPA Database of landfill locations. Includes a record of historical/current violations of environmental policy: http://echo.epa.gov/?redirect=echo - Landfill Club: Project from EcoHack 2014. has more data about landfills in MA. Note: This doesn't show historic landfills: http://landfill.club - Massachusetts' closed landfills. Page with info on Mass's closed landfills that might be helpful for you: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/recycle/solid/landfills-transfer-stations-and-compost-sites.html - Basurama- A small study of waste places in Cambridge: http://meipi.org/cambridgewaste.categories.php It was part of the exhibition at MIT: http://basurama.org/transtrash/projects/ from Basurama. Map can be found here: http://meipi.org/cambridgewaste.map.php?id_entry=30 - Find a Landfill Near You http://landfills.herokuapp.com/ (in progress) This is something made by Nick Johnson with data from the EPA. It includes landfills as well as any facility licensed to handle msw. The idea here to was to find a landfill near you. - MIT's Senseable City Lab TrashTrack http://senseable.mit.edu/trashtrack/index.php?id=1 Their project tracks where trash actually goes using GPS-enabled tools. This seems related to but potentially separate from identifying where the landfills are. Might be an interesting peripheral study. Also, there are some interesting data visualizations of specific trash items here: http://senseable.mit.edu/trashtrack/visualizations.php?id=2 - Crowdcrafting project to identify landfills from satellite images, http://crowdcrafting.org/app/landfill/ - Open Trash Lab, http://www.opentrashlab.com/projects ### Challenges: Ideas for monitoring landfills: #### Wifi Enabled Trashcan Scale (concept) This trashcan has a builtin scale which automatically logs its daily weight online wirelessly. This joins the group 'internet of things' but could help keep track of exactly how much trash an individual or household produces. Could also be implemented into workplaces. Steps to build: 1) Hack digital scale to add wifi capabilities. 2) Design method in which a trash can is placed on top *tracking daily waste numbers across communities could be tremendously useful in understanding more precisely how much municipal solid waste is produced annually. #### Landfill Monitoring Kit This kit will include items needed to take a small soil sample in order to test for various toxins, metals, etc... A water monitoring kit - for nearby waterways to test for contaminates in the water. (These are just suggestions for monitoring landfills. I actually have no idea what would be useful) #### Landfill Methane Mapping Methane Balloons? - Landfills are a leading source in methane emissions across the country. Could we attach lowcost methane sensors to balloons and "Methane Map" landfills? #### Landfill Identification and Tracking The Environmental Protection Agency has a database containing data about all of the landfills in the country. It would enlightening to gather citizen stories and documentation of each of these landfills aside from the EPA database. This initial map was created to use the EPA database to locate all of the landfill in the country on one map. Users can then identify nearby landfills and see, via google maps, what the landfill is like from above. Expanding this map to include citizen gathered data on each landfill individually help formulate a better understanding of landfills around the country. Current [example](http://landfills.herokuapp.com/) #### Home Composting Kit I'm sure everybody and their brother has thought about this, but when I try and find something online, nothing exists. The home composting kit would be everything you need to easily compost at home. I imagine the kit to be similar to a trash can, but with many various levels to allow for the various steps in composting. - To be totally honest, I only have a basic understanding of how to compost but I fully believe there must be a simple way (via a product) to help people with in-house composting. - Maybe something like [this](http://www.naturemill.net/products.html). Useful [scientific research](http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dXNX4cOMqDUC&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=composting&ots=LrhIRSbR1Y&sig=jKlrJ9f23HtEqKXz9-Iso9Guc5w#v=onepage&q=composting&f=false) #### Wall-E Robot to collect waste This is all about making a Wall-e stye robot to collect and process waste. This is interesting in both bringing the character to life which represents the 'solution' to our increasingly growing waste stream as well as actually making a robot that could collect waste more efficiently. I also see potential for creating a mascot for waste as well as an opportunity to push the waste conversation forward. Next steps: Design a diagram of what this robot would do. Ideas: simple moving trash can, add environmental sensors, focus on one item (organics or aluminum can crusher), maybe it is a mini waste to energy robot to power your home? etc... ...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
Ag8n "This is a suggestion, only. I worked in the polymer industry for many years. This included rubber chemicals. One of the chemicals commonly used ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
joyofsoy "Just talking to our education manager about your idea, she suggested possibly setting up long strips of sticky tape and using acetone to remove the..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
khaanimraan8623 "Hello education is a need of humanity watch beautiful collection of thought https://hinsmeer.blogspot.com/2020/01/true-love-shayri.html?m=1 " | Read more » over 4 years ago
khaanimraan8623 "Hello education is a need of humanity see beautiful collection of thought change your life May " | Read more » over 4 years ago
liz "Hello! Love this issue brief. To the last of the four questions you pose, i believe one person suggests that it takes 68 minutes to unclog a drain!..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
mimiss " @mimiss has marked @jeanell873 as a co-author. " | Read more » almost 5 years ago
HarshK " Update! Edge Detect Module completion pr has been merged into the main branch. Demo for the module is available here https://harshithpabbati.gith..." | Read more » over 5 years ago
HarshK "If you couldn't upload an image when I first uploaded the link, that has been fixed now. You can upload images. Just be sure to clear the cache. I ..." | Read more » over 5 years ago
HarshK " Please note that in the link provided above, the page will not look proper. This is because there is a bug in image sequencer code itself. This wi..." | Read more » over 5 years ago
HarshK " Hello guys! Update! A working UI for new edge-detect module is available here https://harshkhandeparkar.github.io/image-sequencer/examples/legacy/ " | Read more » over 5 years ago
HarshK " If this thread is still valid, the edge-detect module is going to change soon. In the PR https://github.com/publiclab/image-sequencer/pull/771 , s..." | Read more » over 5 years ago
warren "@jiteovien just linking your diagram and challenge up with this reply from @maxliboiron -- https://publiclab.org/questions/jiteovien/08-08-2018/can..." | Read more » almost 6 years ago
maxliboiron "Yes-- the issue is the lighting, not the magnification. Most plastics are opaque, and the closer you zoom in, the harder it is to identify plastics..." | Read more » almost 6 years ago
Bronwen "My (cursory) understanding from talking to @maxliboiron is that this microscope, which has a light source that passes through the sample (on the op..." | Read more » almost 6 years ago
warren "Cool! And it's possible to make ty ur own scratch and sniff stickers too... Interesting! https://www.thecountrychiccottage.net/make-your-own-scrat..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
liz ""Scratch-n-Sniff" stickers are already used to educate people about certain chemical smells that should be reported: http://www.promoprintinggroup...." | Read more » about 6 years ago
warren "I was thinking -- what if we had a collection of "training smells" -- made of harmless ingredients, as an aid to identify and categorize smells? I ..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
arturunderwater "Y ya que estamos.....human or animal known diseases in the area? " | Read more » about 6 years ago
arturunderwater "@imvec Can you also add a warning? some.....NBQ protection recommended for the area? " | Read more » about 6 years ago
zengirl2 "@warren ty for checking in with ushahidi. Let's see what they say. " | Read more » about 6 years ago
zengirl2 "@imvec you have no idea how exciting this is! It's crazy to think that you just added something because I suggested it (the power of open-source :D..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
warren "Hi! I was kind of hoping ushahidi folks might be interested in adding such privacy features to their system by default, not as a customization. I e..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
imvec "Hi @zengirl2, @warren and @liz! So, people can report anonimously clicking the (+) button and no need of account. In relation to the exact position..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
liz "Great idea @Zengirl2 " | Read more » about 6 years ago