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
zengirl2 "@imvec Can you also add "animal waste" and "smoke" for type of smell. I'm thinking that would cover factory farms and also events like forest fires. " | Read more » about 6 years ago
zengirl2 "Thanks @warren. I think since this project allows for printing out PDF form option, those who want true anonymity can choose to just skip the map, ..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
warren "Awesome - down the road I wonder if we could connect w ushahidi to use the blurred location form we developed for public lab... https://publiclab...." | Read more » about 6 years ago
zengirl2 "@imvec I already have a nonprofit dealing with factory farm pollution that is interested in having me present your awesome tool. A few questions: I..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
imvec "Thanks we hope it will be useful. We've just updated the survey url. The initial "date" was redundant as there are two dated input methods on the s..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
zengirl2 "Really great to see this and I think that people suffering from factory farm pollution will make good use of it. +1 for launcher to simplify one cl..." | Read more » about 6 years ago
warren "Very cool! @sarasage you're quoted: " | Read more » about 6 years ago
warren "Wow, this is so cool! Great work! " | Read more » about 6 years ago
imvec "Check it out @Zengirl2, @sarasage, @warren " | Read more » about 6 years ago
warren "Great work on this page, @imvec! @zengirl2 @sarasage- check this out! " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Zooniverse link! https://www.theplastictide.com/blog-1/2017/4/24/launching-our-tagging-website-2-days-to-go " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "And just to link to what @amirberAgain mentioned about automatic particle detection in #silica #dust pollution: https://publiclab.org/notes/amirbe..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
amirberAgain "Another ask /suggestion : place particles on a polarized film sheet illuminated from below, image with a cross polarizer to remove the background. " | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Got some good feedback from @maxliboiron from Newfoundland and http://civiclaboratory.nl -- @maxliboirox: You can't. Not with any accuracy. A few ..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
tech4gt " More info here " | Read more » over 6 years ago
amirberAgain "Another ask/ suggestion would be to image using black/uv light, most plastics would show strong signs of fluorescence which might help descriminati..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
jlev "Thanks @amirberAgain. I've contacted my friend at Greenpeace and asked him for some more images with less overlap and a wider array of lighting con..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
amirberAgain "Code: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HDekiO0l9DEmSBmbWBVOEEPvSkys6AUa/view?usp=sharing " | Read more » over 6 years ago
amirberAgain "I tried to apply the same simplistic approach as was in the particle image. Not sure why, but Sobel didn't work, but Canny did. Other than that - t..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
amirberAgain "Could you upload a few more image samples? Is it possible to ask that the samples be illuminated from a wide light source such that shade will be k..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "What might be the processing steps, to try to break this down? Could they look like some of the steps @SimonPyle, @AmberWise, @damarquis and @amirb..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "Ooh! @maxliboiron maybe you know something about this? I have to dig through some old emails to find someone else who's mentioned this to me too. " | Read more » over 6 years ago
kgradow1 "How big are the particles? I know very little about microplastics but I found this great reference sheet: http://www.ccb.se/documents/Postkod201..." | Read more » over 6 years ago
warren "@maxliboiron would know! https://civiclaboratory.nl/category/technologies/ I wonder what microns per pixel resolution is needed? " | Read more » over 6 years ago