Fordhamopolis interrogates the entire concept of “waste”. There can be no sedentary graveyards of items, perfectly reusable but replaced, perhaps time and time again, all arriving in a pit that accumulates toxic leachate. The concepts of “food” and “waste” are to be entirely delinked. As with all other things in the city, the burden of sustainability is not placed upon the individual. Waste disposal and re-appropriation will be a guilt-free, thoughtless experience, as the system will be designed to received and manage all of what is put into it.


Layout of the waste management systems (small diamond: underground collection and sorting plant, large diamond: waste processing plant)


Anaerobic Digestion

The organic waste produced in Fordhamopolis will need to be taken care of in a way that is safe and environmentally friendly, and this will entail anaerobic digestion to break down organic materials. The digested materials that are a product of the digestion are rich in nutrients and can be used as fertilizer or compost for the local community gardens at Fordhamopolis. Biogas, a renewable energy source that will power the system, is also produced during anaerobic digestion. New technology by Cogent Heat Energy Storage Systems generates electricity while also removing carbon dioxide from the air  by putting natural gas into a fuel cell, generating electricity and heat. The generated heat is then used to break down limestone into lime and carbon dioxide. All of the carbon dioxide generated from the fuel cell and the broken down limestone is pure and can be sequestered cheaply and easily, and the lime that is left at the end of the process absorbs the carbon in the atmosphere. 

Image courtesy of: Hyperlink.


Subterranean Vacuum Network

This is our citywide system for waste that needs to be treated. Each building is constructed with chutes that deliver the refuse to a series of pressurized tubes that communicate with one another and move trash to waste treatment facilities only when it is necessary to do so. This means there are no bad smells or pests, and greatly reduces the energy cost of municipal waste collection.

 Image courtesy of: Waste Management World

Image courtesy of: ORingnet

Image courtesy of: Envac Corporation

Image courtesy of: Envac Corporation


Waste-Sorting Technologies

The mission of lifting the burden of waste management from the shoulders of its citizens is dependent upon the ability to properly sift through refuse. A new class of technologies have emerged with the aspiration of doing just that. In particular, the MAX-AI engineered by Bulk Handling Systems and ZenRobotics construction waste sorter, are excellent models for the type of machine that will separate recyclables from waste that must be gasified. These computers are rapidly able to recognize the labels and materials of objects that pass and move them to be recycled. In this way, our waste system will act like the detritivores and microbacteria of the natural world, gleaning all the material and energy available and returning it to the (human) ecosystem.

Video courtesy of: Bulk Handling Systems

Image courtesy of: Waste Management World


Waste Treatment and Plasma arc Gasification

There must be a way to property discard of everything that is unable to be reused, re-appropriated, or recycled, especially that which is hazardous or toxic. Traditional waste-to-energy systems like incinerators release enormous amounts of carbon, carcinogens, and dioxins. Instead, Fordhamopolis will harness the power of gasification, performed in a much safer, sealed environment. Using torches that operate between 7000-13000 ºF, plasma arc gasification produces biogas, which can be burned to power the machine and then scrubbed. It's other byproduct is heavy metal slag, which can be used to strengthen construction material. By limiting the number of gasifiers, we can ensure that they will be constantly fed, producing surplus energy that can be fed to other parts of the city lacking it. This technology even has the potential to correct the errors of the past, and mine Cyprus's various landfills.

Image courtesy of: The New Economy

Image courtesy of: HowStuffWorks

Image courtesy of: Phoenix Energy

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