Thursday, May 8, 2008

What is "Post-Consumer Waste"?

Wikipedia says, "a waste type used by the end-consumer of a material stream." In other words, it is derived from products that people have recycled.

The entry goes on to provide an oddly wistful and culturally revealing list of types of post-consumer waste:
  • packaging
  • parts that are not needed, such as fruit skins, bones in meat, etc.
  • undesired things received, e.g.:
    • advertising material in the mailbox
    • a flyer received in the street without having the opportunity to refuse
    • dust, weed, fallen leaves, etc.
  • things one no longer needs, e.g. a magazine that has been read, things replaced by new versions, clothes out of fashion, remaining food that one cannot keep or does not want to keep
  • broken things, things no longer working, spoilt food, worn-out clothes, clothes which no longer fit
  • outgrown items toys, clothing, books, schoolwork
  • disposables such as Kleenex and finished batteries
  • human waste, waste of pets, waste water from various forms of cleaning
  • "post-life waste"
    • (not a very respectful term though): one's body or ashes
    • things the heirs do not want and cannot sell
It concludes with this bizarre fragment:

"In many countries, such as the United States, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in post-consumer waste once it leaves the consumer's home. Anyone can search it, including the police, and any incriminating evidence recovered can be used at trial."

No comments: