Washington, June 6 : A Dutch engineer has suggested a simple and artistic method to dispose off major chunks of waste generated in our cities - building pyramids of trash.
Roelof Schuiling of Geochem Research BV, says that solidifying waste in a concrete-type material and using the resulting slabs to build pyramids, will not only help in doing away with the waste but may eventually turn out to be major tourist attractions.
Many of the celebrated works of art have their ingredients as trash, like Chris Ofili's depiction of the Holy Virgin Mary encrusted with elephant dung, Damien Hirst's pickled tiger shark representing life and death to the unmade bed of Tracey Emin and the unspeakable bodily fluids of avant garde duo Gilbert and George.
However, the latest plan by Schuiling, if put into action, might look after the disposal of major chunk of solid domestic and even toxic industrial waste.
He said that it is "dangerous and unsustainable" to simply bury solid toxic waste in lined deposits underground, which is current best practice. In fact, such waste should first be immobilized by mixing with cement and immobilizing additives to reduce the possibility of toxic materials leaching into the earth and ground water.
And if this solidifying material were shaped into slabs, these might be stacked to form a pyramid surrounded by a lined ditch.
"Such a system is sustainable, easy to control, and does away with the need for an extensive and 'eternal' monitoring system," explained Schuiling.
He indicated that a water-repellent coating would keep in check any leaching of materials from the pyramids, while periodic monitoring of the runoff could be used to control any potential hazardous leakage.
"These pyramids, erected in prominent places, could serve as a tourist attraction and become a source of income rather than a continuing financial burden," added Schuiling.
He also said that these large-scale structures might be used as the foundation for building dwellings, office buildings, and leisure facilities, particularly in flood-prone regions.
The details on the topic are published in the current issue of the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues.