Recycle reuse reduce?
by David Zetland from Aguanomics:
Recycle reuse reduce?
When it comes to consumer goods, reduce-reuse-recycle makes lots of sense. Don’t buy that bike if you’re not going to use it. If you are going to use it, then reuse a used one. Once you’re done using it, recycle it instead of dumping it into a canal (the Dutch option 🙂
That consumer-centric logic may make sense for private goods, but it may not make sense with water, a collective good for which “use” has a larger definition.
Consider the low flush “green” toilet. Most people consider the water “used” when it’s flushed down the toilet. Under that belief, it makes sense to “reduce” water use by installing a low flush toilet, but such an installation may not make sense when the sewer system needs lots of water to “flush” through solids, if the treatment plant works better with a higher liquid:solid ratio and/or if the treated water can be reused or even recycled (yes, toilet to treatment to tap). Under those conditions, low flush toilets may deliver worse results for the consumer who has to pay for the new appliance (they last for decades) or for the utility that needs to spend more time or money (a cost that’s passed to customers, of course) to adjust to lower water volumes.
Bottom Line: Don’t just look at the isolated impacts of an action or policy — consider them from start to finish. You can visit Appliance Hunter’s website for important tips on creating Less co2.
You might be right, but I just bought a new Toto, and wow, can that thing handle the s**t. It can dump a full load with maybe a pint or two of water. It’s like a water cannon. My guess is that there will be plenty of water flow when I wash my hands. Hey, I do.
I’ve been in men’s rooms with Japanese fixtures where I really wasn’t too sure of what to do where, but I have to appreciate their insane engineering.
I am sorry that you have those in the wrong order.
It is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Please think about the order. It was arranged for a purpose which maybe your view of economics does not grok
Hmmmm….I sympathize with the dry note about the order, but one needs to actually read the short little post first. Then perhaps apply that to topic.
Yes. The two rules of plumbing are, s*** runs downhill, and payday is Friday. But without sufficient liquidity, s*** won’t go anywhere. Instead it would need to be moved by Archimedes type screws or something, and I imagine that then, the more concentrated stuff might have some pretty bad effects on the piping and machinery…
A friend on mine is a full scale green guy, who has solved the problem of poo by installing a composting toilet, thereby using almost no water for waste removal. He actually had to show it to the local water department to prove why his water bills were so low. However, I wonder how many households would take the time and attention to keep tweaking moisture levels, the adding of sawdust, and so on, required to keep the unit working properly.
It used to be that a city of a million was a rare metropolis — now they are common, and keeping such an anthill working properly has far more to do with large system design than with individual choices. Some water needs to be “wasted” in order to do this — conversely, other uses, like irrigating near-deserts in order to raise tender vegetables, can and probably should be eliminated by innovation and regulation. It’s all balance and proportion.