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Why not live on a floating pile of trash?

Home Forums Archive Structure Designs Why not live on a floating pile of trash?

This topic contains 13 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of greyraven_r greyraven_r 4 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #938
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    With enough free to low-cost floatable mass, a seastead may be fairly cheap to produce or even profitable on a per square foot basis if we can be paid to take usable trash.

    I’m particularly intersted in tires. There are 1 billion tires created each year, meaning about that many are available to use for free since they mostly end up in the trash. There are giant tire piles littering around the USA and around the world. Why not staple them together forming a neat pile, then encase the whole pile in a watertight thin concrete shell to create an island? The only material cost would be the staples and the thin layer of concrete used to keep the water out.

    I figure a small 300 meter x 300 meter starter island could end up costing very little using a tire pile close to the ocean. Later larger versions could use the tire piles as a wave breaker. If we could find even one large tire yard near the ocean willing to pay us even $15 per ton for cleanup, I would speculate it just may be possible to build a seastead at a profit.

    I have a crude illustration posted at: http://www.communitycrown.com/story06_02_09_Cheapo_Tire_Wavebreaker_Idea.php

    #6325
    Profile photo of wohl1917
    wohl1917
    Participant

    it won’t work. Tires float because of the air trapped in them is just enough to make them float and that only really applies to bias-ply, not steel belted. Plastic bottles have also been suggested on here but they deteriorate in the sun/salt water environment and make tiny particles that fish eat along with the plankton and it kills them. Over time, even if tires did float, they would probably do the same…

    #6327
    Profile photo of cthulhujunior
    cthulhujunior
    Participant

    While whole tires might not work, the idea of taking all the un-recyclable material and trash from the land countries as building materials is a good one. For instance, most petroleum products can be melted down. How hard would it be to just take a pile of various types of plastics and melting them all into one giant block? I can’t vouch for the structural properties of such a mass, but if you’re looking for cheap and mass quantity for say a hull or something, it sounds like a good idea.

    #6329
    Profile photo of Pastor_Jason
    Pastor_Jason
    Participant

    Floating pile of trash. Anyone else thinking of Staten Island? LOL.

    What about the smell? “Welcome to the onions and spoiled goat cheese Island!”

    Mmmm…. smells like freedom… *puke*

    Live Well!

    -Jason

    #6330
    Profile photo of cthulhujunior
    cthulhujunior
    Participant

    First: lol at last post. Maybe the smell can be used for defense.

    Second: A floating mobile landfill service could be viable and even profitable. Nobody wants to deal with their own trash. Taking the garbage of the world might secure ‘steads a niche in the global economy that keeps them from being shot down. This is similar to the idea posted a while back of using ‘steads as a penal colony to solve the over-crowded prison system problem. Using them to tend the landfill would convince the world that these convicts are getting their comeuppance and be rather efficient. Though, really, if these things are meant to promote freedom then a foundation of forced labor might not be the way to go. As for the smell, I think landfill technology’s already taken care of that. Something about multiple furnaces and gas vents.

    Plus, I think it’s kind of poetic, building a refuge for freedom on the refuse of the world…

    Hope this helps.

    #6332
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    Tug boats take trash out beyond the continental shelf, and dump it into the ocean.

    We would need to make an alternative that is more cost efficient than this.

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

    #6336
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    I’m not sure about an island of tires. A wave break sounds more plausible. Anyone know the density of tire rubber? I’m not sure it floats on it’s own. It contains a metal cord after all…

    But even if it is slightly heavier than water perhaps a small flotation element to hang a mass of tires from could be cost-efficient and effective enough against waves to be worthwile.

    I do not think tires are free though, they are used as fuel (to make cement: http://borderstories.org/index.php/ciudad-juarez-where-tires-go-to-die.html ), and fuel is not free…

    #6337
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    wohl1917 wrote:

    it won’t work. Tires float because of the air trapped in them is just enough to make them float and that only really applies to bias-ply, not steel belted. Plastic bottles have also been suggested on here but they deteriorate in the sun/salt water environment and make tiny particles that fish eat along with the plankton and it kills them. Over time, even if tires did float, they would probably do the same…

    You’re right that tires in contact with water are going to tend to radiate toxins into the water. The concrete shell is there both to keep the tire pile dry and to keep in floating. Its like a 2-piece barge design. The tires provide the support so that the concrete shell can be made thinner than you may think.

    #6341
    Profile photo of cthulhujunior
    cthulhujunior
    Participant

    Thorizan wrote:

    Tug boats take trash out beyond the continental shelf, and dump it into the ocean.

    We would need to make an alternative that is more cost efficient than this.

    We provide the tug boat and dump it into the ocean in some way that it floats.

    #6343
    Profile photo of Melllvar
    Melllvar
    Participant

    Used tires could atleast be used as bumpers between modular units in a seastead, or between connected SFSs. They might make a good breakwater too, since they’re more flexible than concrete or steel and could dampen the impact of large waves. While some of the force would be transmitted to the structure, the bending of the tires would absorb part of the wave’s energy. (Edit: I didn’t explain this well, I meant if they were covered with some kind of waterproof sheet, so the structure still floats and contains toxins, but you don’t need a wall of concrete between the tires and the waves).

    This is a little more far fetched, but in large waves the tire bending might even make a source of renewable energy, from the constant compression-expansion cycles. Rubber also heats when stretched, and the constant bending of thousands of tires could create heat for some usable purpose (like I said, far fetched, but thought I’d throw it out there).

    #6345
    Profile photo of thebastidge
    thebastidge
    Participant

    Tires al already used as bumpers on ships and docks all over the world. My sense is that dilution of any toxins in the ocean open would not be a problem. There are no absolute levels of “safety”; there’s always someone to be alarmist over anything. But the vast majority of “pollutants” are only of concern when concentrated beyond the point where biological mechanisms can cope.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/v3jn0j2205823203/

    #6371
    Profile photo of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster

    There is a technology for making floating islands out of recycled plastic and foam. It produces an artificial wetlands effect, nourishing an ecosystem from the phytoplankton up:

    http://www.floatingislandinternational.com/

    #6436
    Profile photo of Snow
    Snow
    Participant

    It seems like the things to find out are, what toxins seep out of the kind of trash we’re talking about, and how much under the conditions of seawater, and what are the established measurements of how dangerous they are?

    #8947
    Profile photo of greyraven_r
    greyraven_r
    Participant

    If used tires and or plastics were pulverized and recast with an injection of sequestered CO2 (for additional bouyancy) into blocks, balls, whatevers…they could be coated with whatever element resistant material you choose. this would kill many birds with one stone.

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