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Chad Knutsen

May 17, 2014


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Cool idea, the one issue I see with this, is that most likely, huge numbers of prisoners + piles of unsourced garbage = prison riots of unbridled brutality and creativity.

Kim Walker

Jun 9, 2014


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This is a horribly disturbing idea on almost every level. Our prison system is already moving to a for-profit system where private corporations are profiting from the incarceration of our citizens (vs. any attempt at rehabilitating even nonviolent or first-time offenders) and a few judges have already been caught taking kickbacks from prisons for handing out prison sentences. Then you propose to use these people as slave labor in order to avoid people like you and me having to take responsibility for our own waste and recycling. The combination of a terribly damaged justice system and the perpetuating of displacement of responsibility for our own actions is a bad plan. Lets skip the prisoners and reduce our own consumption and waste stream so that the material never makes it that far down the line.

Kim Walker

Jun 9, 2014


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Apologies, my previous comment is overly harsh and unduly personal. I absolutely agree with you in saying that there is much value in our "waste" and that once we have gathered the resource (petroleum for plastic for example) it is silly to simply dispose of it. I am more concerned with the use of a damaged system (the prison system) to remedy a problem that should be remedied much earlier in the cycle. Though working with the prison board to offer paying positions to low-risk offenders (i.e. the same ones they take out to clean up highways) in the recycling industry could be a good plan. Their pay could be held in an account to be paid to as restitution to their victim with the remainder paid them upon leaving to assist in the transition back into society. However these positions should be voluntary and paid, as well no living facility including prisons should be overly close to a landfill due to toxicity.

Dan Whittet

Jun 17, 2014


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I agree with the comments of kippypet. The time has come when we must not see any humans as disposable, any more than the by products of our consumption. The idea of reusing everything is commendable. Lets start at the top of the food chain with this.

Daniel Laliberte

Jul 19, 2014


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Nothing is Waste, indeed! I whole heartedly agree. In fact, wasting society on prison mentality is part of the problem. Think robots instead. Think about charging whatever the cost is for a 100% recycling program by adding to the price of products.

Agharese Lucia Ojelede

Jul 20, 2014


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Brothernature, Good concept, but i don't understand the reason for using prisoners for sorting waste from the landfill when there are a lot of unemployed people out there unless you are targeting a particular area to be implemented.There is a security risk associated with your proposal and who will bear the burden? What is the cost of this proposal because it would also involve providing landfill close to prisons or prisons close to landfill. Kindly complete this information required ASAP for the contest is closing soon. Best wishes Arese

Don Jardine

Aug 11, 2014


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I don't know if this concept will work. I was involved in projects before which tried to use inmates at correctional facilities or offenders who had to put in community service time. There were always many reasons or roadblocks why these people couldn't be used. Another concept which is already working in Prince Edward Island, Canada, is to have waste generators sort their waste resource materials at source. This involves homes, businesses, commercial institutions etc. Materials are sorted into 3 streams: recyclables, compost and remaining waste. The materials are transported to 3 different processing facilities. As a result over 60% of all waste generated is diverted from landfill disposal. This creates a number of new jobs in the processing of recyclables and compost materials. By treating the compost stream aerobically, one avoids the production of some of the worst GHG's such as methane at landfill sites. One problem which you will run into by sorting the materials post disposal is that recyclable items will be tainted with the smell of garbage and most recycling plants don't want the bad odours associated with this type of material.The slogan I have heard used is if it smells like garbage it is garbage.

Climate Colab

Aug 13, 2014


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Your proposal leads to some very concerning social justice issues. This is not to mention the operational challenges to ensuring the health and safety of the prison workers. However, if your proposal recognized that prison populations are comprised of many marginalized groups in society and developed the linkages between climate change, marginalization and waste-picking, you could transform the project into a means of support and reintegration of prisoners from low-income backgrounds back into society through servicing the waste industry.