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There's also a similar piece that just ran on 60 Minutes: "A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn't Recycled" by Laura Parker on nationalgeographic.com So, when I open a bottle of Deer Park water, there's a 90% chance that it will end up in the ocean, or in a landfill, despite my going to great lengths to recycle it? Predictions are that by 2050, the oceans will contain more plastic than FISH. NO THANK YOU. I've got to change my ways.
For several years, and certainly during the past several pothole-ridden days, I have wondered to myself, "What if?" Having spent nearly 25 years working with the EPA, I have often asked myself where my recyclables are ending up? I see them alongside trails in the form of benches. I see them in carryout food containers. But I don't think I've ever seen them underneath my tires, unless I run over an old plastic bottle. What if? What if we could make highways out of recycled material? Asphalt is hot, it cracks, it forms potholes (in the past few days, I have probably screamed out loud five times when I hit a pothole that felt like I just ran over a curb). I have never looked into this before in my life, but I'm going to Google it, right now. --- Hmmm ... Where do I start? --- Okay, I just started with the fourth one, since that was published by the Department of Transportation - that deals with the opposite issue: recycling existing highways; not making highways out of recycled waste. Then there's this by the EPA: "Using Recycled Industrial Materials In Roadways" So, as I figured, someone has at least thought of this before (I can't tell you how many times I've had *amazing* ideas, sometimes being sure that nobody could have possibly thought of them before, that have already been patented - this was definitely *not* one of those times, as I couldn't imagine that someone hasn't thought of it by now). --- Alright, I'm done. I wanted this idea out there just in case nobody was working on it, because it seems like such a *good* use of waste, but not being an engineer, I have no idea about things such as tensile strengths, heat capacities, or any of those other "terms" that you've heard of before, but don't really know what they mean. I don't know if this is even possible, but hopefully someone, somewhere, is looking into it. And sure enough: