Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Garbage Game

New York's Gotham Gazette newspaper has created a neat online "Garbage Game". (Thanks to No Impact Man for the link.) To play, you make choices about the fate of waste, first as a New Yorker sorting her own household waste, then as a sanitation engineer charged with managing the entire municipal waste stream. You also get to decide which neighbourhood, municipality, or state to burden with the ultimate disposal of the city's waste.

While the Garbage Game is tailored to the specific contexts of waste management for New York City , there are instructive parallels to Metro Vancouver. In the game, you make decisions surrounding the contentious issue of transporting New York City's garbage to New Jersey or to the outer boroughs. Meanwhile, here in the Lower Mainland, we are still contending with the GVRD's 2000 plan to build a landfill in Ashcroft, and to truck Vancouver's garbage nearly 400km to get there. (See Helen's post, "New Year's Resolution: Stop Ashcroft Landfill".)

Of course, the best way to avoid transporting vast amounts of waste is to reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place! As noted in the Garbage Game, diverting recyclables from the garbage stream is an improvement but doesn't mean zero waste. The majority of New York's recycled raw materials are exported overseas by large polluting ships.

I played The Gotham Gazette Garbage Game and sent 2,643,029 tons of refuse across 2,300,565 miles.

Here are my own dubious results from the Garbage Game. (It generates code which I believe you could paste into a comment to this post, if you’d like to share your score!)


Anonymous said...

It might be fun to create a game like this for Metro Vancouver.

Anonymous said...
seen this?
they are having a viewing vancouver washington!

Vanessa said...

Thanks for the note, WM. The Garbage Revolution film looks great!

Amanda said...

Glad you liked the game. Later this year, we plan to release the source code for the game, so you will be able to create your own version.