Solid waste is dirty, sticky, smelly, sometimes hazardous, and certainly not glamorous; as such, many planners and designers never consider the material consumption and waste storage systems of our cities. The slow, incremental nature of waste increase, our tendency to hide it on the outskirts of communities, and its permanent stationary presence contribute to a collective attitude that waste management is not an immediately pressing problem. However, landfills pose public safety and health risks to communities (e.g. methane off-gassing or leachate spill) and exacerbate climate change. Waste is a mindset, not an inevitably, and innovations beyond recycling/reuse/organic composting and waste-to-energy technology are needed to increase the sustainability of cities.
In this presentation, Warner Cook, MSSD+MSCRP Class of 2017, explores innovations in solid waste management that move the needle towards long-term cyclical sustainability, focusing in on Landfill Mining to explore its potential for communities looking to tackle their solid waste problems head on. More than an overview of technological innovations, this presentation will question how such practices can be implemented and what barriers and opportunities exist.
Goldsmith Talks is an open-format series of presentations organized by UTSOA faculty, staff, and students. the series aims to encourage and promote presentations that are outside of the scope of the main lecture series. Examples are: invited seminar presentations, book talks, lectures by designers and scholars who may be in Austin for another engagement, round-table discussions, film screenings, product demonstrations, or any other activity related to research, scholarship, and teaching activities and at the school. The format provides a platform for encouraging the dissemination of work by visitors and members of our community. The goal is to raise awareness, increase access, and better integrate such events within the public life of the school.