Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4 Amazing Garbage Islands

Garbage is generally not associated with plantations, greenery, sports parks, thriving coral reefs, vast mangrove plantations & rare bird species. But here are some exceptions: 

1. Thilafushi, Maldives
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Thilafushi is situated to the west of Malé, and is located between Kaafu Atoll's Giraavaru and Gulhifalhu of the Maldives. It is geographically part of the Vaadhoo channel. Thilafushi received its first garbage from Malé on the January 7, 1992. Working started with just 1 landing craft, 4 heavy load trucks, 2 excavators & a single wheel loader.

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During its early years of waste management, holes with a volume of 37,500 ft3 (1060 m3) were dug, after which the sand obtained from the excavation was used to construct walled enclosures around the internal perimeter. Waste received from Malé was deposited into the midst of the hole, which was topped off with a layer of construction waste then uniformly leveled with white sand. Initially there was no segregation of the waste since it had to be handled immediately due to mass accumulation. The current (major) industrial activities in the island are boat manufacturing, cement packing, bottling and various large scale warehousing.
photo source
One of the biggest benefactors of Thilafushi are the inhabitants of Malé. Thilafushi did not only act as a saviour from their own waste issue, but also sent them of cement storage warehouses and other mass storage facilities.

2. Pulau Semakau, Singapore
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Located 8 kilometers south of Singapore and covering an area of 3.5 square kilometers, the Semakau was designed by engineers at Singapore's NEA. It consists of two small islands that have been connected by a rock embankment. The area inside is divided into 11 bays, which are lined with thick plastic and clay to prevent any unwanted material from getting into the sea.
Since it was put into use in 1999, four of the 11 were been filled, covered with earth and planted with grass. It costed around $400 million, can hold up to 63 million cubic meters of garbage, enough to satisfy Singapore's waste management until 2040.

3. Yumenoshima, Japan
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Yumenoshima is an artificial island in Tokyo Bay made completely of garbage. It was started in the late 1960s (though some accounts say it might have been started as early as the late 1950s or as late as the early 1970s) by the Tokyo municipal/prefectural government as a hopeful solution to some to the garbage problem.
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But a solution was found in 1972 when it was decided to make it into a park. It is now a space covered mainly with eucalyptus trees and enjoyed by strollers, sketchers, picnickers, sunbathers, and anyone else seeking relaxation. Between the Park - reached by a bridge - and the mainland is a yacht marina.
Yumenoshima tropical greenhouse    photo source
Today the island has been covered over with a layer of top soil and boasts among its features a sports park (with baseball and soccer fields and a gymnasium), a tropical greenhouse, the Fukuryu Maru Memorial Museum, a large-scale yacht harbor.

4. Floating Garbage Island, Pacific Ocean
Pacific giant floating island       photo source
An enormous island, twice the size of Texas that's floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii.
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"It consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii."
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"The patch has been growing, along with ocean waste worldwide, tenfold every decade since the 1950s", said Chris Parry, public education program manager with the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco.
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  1. These floating garbage islands that have been transformed into productive land areas needed the expertise and creativity of individuals and companies that know how to deal with waste management services. Number 4 on the list is the real challenge and can be a real savior in terms of landspace and waste management.

  2. #4 should be cleaned up and made into a habitable island. I wonder how it all got there..


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