AP Photo/Ben Margot
What is it? Toilet paper-infused asphalt
Innovators Dutch environmental firms CirTec and KNN Cellulose
What were they thinking? The Dutch flush 180,000 tons of toilet paper every year. Why not reuse the stuff? Well, to be honest, there are at least a couple of reasons. We’ll just call them Number One and Number Two. But a pair of enterprising environmental companies are rolling forward anyway. Using an industrial sieve, the Guardian reports, they are sifting 400 kilograms of toilet paper cellulose from the sludge at the Geestmerambacht wastewater treatment plant each day, sterilizing it, and selling it for use in asphalt and building materials.
Did it work? It’s not clear, yet, if the two-year pilot project will be financially sustainable in the long run. But toilet paper-infused asphalt has already been used to resurface a bike path, reinforce a dyke, and repave a parking lot — proving that, with apologies to Gordon Gekko, gross can be good.
Don’t call it Little Russian. Why the Ukraine’s lingua franca is a hot point.Continue reading »
Many other cultures are blasé about an all-too-common pest. Americans freak out. It’s not them. It’s us.Continue reading »
The surprising origins of a 100-year-old word.Continue reading »
As psychiatry revises its manual of disorders, it faces a sticky question: what to do about “culture-bound syndromes.”Continue reading »
The topics that animate political debate today cannot be properly understood by the “isms” of yesterday.Continue reading »
Using translated essays written by defectors, a book covers topics from politics to pornography.Continue reading »