Where does all the garbage go?

I joined my boss and her husband at the CCPA (Centro Cultural Paraguayo Americano) in downtown Asuncion a couple of weeks ago to give a talk on a campaign WWF launched during the summer, and to give a bit of information about who I was and where I’m from. After making it through the preamble of being a North American I showed some photos of my beloved NYC – including the beautiful view I used to have of the Empire State Building from my living room, (well from my whole apartment really, since I lived in a studio…) I showed some photos of Central Park, (“Are people laying in the park sun bathing???”) and photos of the seasons and, of course, of my pets back home.

People then asked questions freely to practice their conversation, but I was not expecting to hear “What does New York do with all the trash from the city?” I thought for a minute before replying, “I have absolutely no idea.” And it got me thinking, what does NYC do with all of it’s trash? In Asuncion, the private trash companies pick up the waste and bring it to thetrash people to deal with, more often than not burning massive amounts of it at a time. But how do we deal with our garbage back home?

I know we have the Department of Sanitation New York City, and according to them:

Today, the Department is the world’s largest, collecting over 12,000 tons of residential and institutional refuse and recyclables a day. The City’s businesses, whose waste is collected by private carting companies, generate another 13,000 tons of refuse each day.

But this still doesn’t answer my question, where does it all go? Is it a landfill in New Jersey or Staten Island? Is it burned?

A group at MIT decided to find out by developing a trash tracking device to accompany civilians trash to the dumps to see where it ultimately ends up. While they began this project, it seems, in July 2009 – I have yet to see any results or findings.

I wonder, how can I find the answer to this question – do any of you know??

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