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Senior Advisor

Kochs are plastic too

directly, and that's a whole big chunk of the petrochemical complex that launders political money through them to convince people that They Are Victims.

The way we (don't) handle that is a crime, particularly given that it isn't even a hard problem to solve if there's a will to do so.

BTW, before Sammy attacks me with "I'll get rid of my plastic when you get rid of your plastic you hypocrite" I do try to use less plastic and take it all to a place where I think they recycle it. Hard telling right now.

This is neither a difficult technical problem or one that would be terribly costly to deal with. There would be costs and there would be jobs (maybe for pore former coal miners). 

You do have powerful lobbies like the landfill business, or even municipalities that have dumps. I'm confident they'll still fill this wave of them up and that we could have fewer in the future.


3 Replies
Senior Advisor

Re: Kochs are plastic too

If a high percentage of plastic was recycled back into oil via thermal depolymerization, there might be some net cost but you'd get some return back from the oil.

With a 50% net energy return on the approx. 6% of oil and gas that is used to make plastic, that would yield net energy back to us on the order of what we currently get from corn ethanol.

Might be another reason why The Blob wants you to be outraged that the socialists are taking away your plastic straws.

Data says the per capita US usage of plastic is about 220# per year. Basic plastic compounds currently cost about .35-.50/pound, depending. 

So maybe $100 per head, maybe the same to dispose of it?

Landfills aren't free either, and they obviously impose some external costs as well unless you happen to want to live next to one.

One socialist do gooder operation says 75% total recycling could create 1.1 million jobs. 

Senior Advisor

Re: Kochs are plastic too

Some classes of plastic have higher value to recycle back into plastic and would be diverted into separate waste streams.

The rest of it can just be cooked back into oil.


Senior Advisor

Re: Kochs are plastic too

Windmills are an environmental disaster.


American Experiment has been a leader in exposing the fact that wind turbines only last for twenty years, and after that time the turbines must be torn down as part of the decommissioning process. We have also detailed how wind turbine blades cannot be recycled, and must be stored in landfills.

Now, the Argus Leader reports that more than 100 wind turbine blades measuring 120 ft long have been dumped in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, landfill, but there’s a problem: the massive blades are taking up too much room, according to local City officials. The Argus Leader article reads:

“A wind farm near Albert Lea, Minn., brought dozens of their old turbine blades to the Sioux Falls dump this summer.

But City Hall says it won’t take anymore unless owners take more steps to make the massive fiberglass pieces less space consuming.

The wind energy industry isn’t immune to cyclical replacement, with turbine blades needing to be replaced after a decade or two in use. That has wind energy producers looking for places to accept the blades on their turbines that need to be replaced.

For at least one wind-farm in south central Minnesota, its found the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill to be a suitable facility to take its aged-out turbine blades.”

This year, 101 turbine blades have been trucked to the city dump. But with each one spanning 120 feet long, that’s caused officials with the landfill and the Sioux Falls Public Works Department to study the long-term effect that type of refuse could have on the dump.

South Dakota is a long way to travel to dispose of wind turbine blades, which uses a lot of diesel fuel, and South Dakota officials aren’t sure why the blades are making their way to the Mount Rushmore State.

“Public Works Director Mark Cotter couldn’t say why a Minnesota wind farm is choosing to truck its blades to Sioux Falls, whether it’s rates or regulatory climate. But he told the Argus Leader Tuesday the blades accepted to date have come in three pieces, but they still require a lot of labor to get them ready to be placed in the ground.

The out-of-region rate is $64 a ton, and a typical blade weighs between 14 and 19 tons.

That’s because a portion of each blade is hollow on the inside, requiring landfill crews to compact them by crushing them beneath the weight of 120,000-pound trucks.”