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Moonfill

Turn the moon into a giant landfill
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Our planet is filling up with fucking garbage. Especially the US.

So what do we do? Mine the moon! C'mon it's just sitting there. We'd sift through all the garbage, removing any valuable, remotely interesting, or recyclable materials, compact it, and load it up on rockets.

We'd mine the moon for whatever precious metals it has (they are becoming scarce on earth these days) and fill in the hole with garbage.

The profits from the moon-mined ore could cover some of the cost.

This would create several new industries and lots of jobs (moon mining, garbage sifting) as well as put NASA to some practical use.

It would be important to make sure make sure the size/weight of the moon doesn't change to drastically, as it would effect Earth's tides.

funcrusher, Feb 26 2001

"The Moon", by Stale Urine http://www.blorf.com/su/egon/moon.html
For waugsqueke. [egnor, Feb 26 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       One word: "cost".
egnor, Feb 26 2001
  

       yes COST. But where do you think the money for NASA and public waste disposal comes from? Taxes. You pay them I pay them. Put it to use!   

       anyways, Venus is too far and there would be no return on the ship if it was incinerated.
funcrusher, Feb 26 2001
  

       That's true. As we all know, tax money is infinite and freely available for any purpose, so we might as well spend as much of it as possible.
egnor, Feb 27 2001
  

       but, if we sent all the trash to the moon...what purpose would New Jersey serve?
Susen, Feb 27 2001
  

       If we were to remove anything of value, remotely interesting, or recyclable from garbage, there wouldn't really be much left to send to the moon. We throw things away because it's cheaper to use virgin resources than to recycle.   

       The moon is metal-poor, so don't bother trying to mine much of anything other than aluminum. And since when are precious metals becoming scarce(r) on Earth? I don't remember any huge jumps in the price of precious metals in my lifetime. If they're getting scarcer on the surface of Earth, we can always mine deeper. This is going to be cheaper than mining extraterrestrial bodies for the forseeable future. And if we're going to fill old mine shafts with garbage, why not do that here on Earth, which would be much cheaper, and would allow us to retrieve those resources if economic forces ever compel us to?   

       The mass of all the garbage produced on Earth in the next billion years will likely be less than a 10e20 tons, which is less than 1% the mass of the moon. Don't worry about gravitational problems; we'll have bigger ones by then.
francois, Feb 27 2001
  

       How 'bout making less garbage.
In Germany you return packaging to the place you bought the item which was inside it and they are compelled to recycle it.
Roughly 80 percent of manufactures reenter the wastestream within 4 months of purchase.
Much the same problems apply to energy usage. I saw some figures about 3 years ago that showed the average Ethiopian uses 4 units of energy per day, compared to the average American's consumption of 676 units.
MrPsloth, Feb 27 2001
  

       why not just take the rubbish up to space then chuck it back to earth to burn up in our atmosphere! might even add to the ozone
edski, Feb 27 2001
  

       francois, your comments made me wonder at what point it becomes more economical to mine landfills than to dig deeper, especially for aluminum.
beauxeault, Feb 27 2001
  

       Thanks, UnaBubba, but yes, I know that alumin(i)um is not mined as alumin(i)um. The reason I said "especially aluminum" is that the process for converting bauxite to aluminum is so energy intensive that energy costs make up a disproportionate fraction of its total cost. For this reason aluminum is often one of the first metals to be economically recyclable in a given situation. I just assumed most people know this.   

       I realize the above could be read as a sarcastic retort, but no sarcasm is intended.
beauxeault, Feb 27 2001
  
      
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