More tasking of Babel’s tyros.

Babel’s tyros (beginners or novices) who run this city continue to be a trial. Frustration with them rose when talking to the city council earlier this week. The problem was part of a presentation about the missed opportunity to make the already operating heat and power facility at the sewage works into Babel’s first district energy operation.

A large part of the problem with the presentation was the blank looks on the councillors—we were not making it clear enough to them. We had also forgotten to bring water to the podium and you know what it is like when your mouth is dry and you cannot clear your throat. The pitch was something of a disaster.

It really fell apart when in the conclusion, the suggestion was made to subsidize garburators for condominium owners to increase solids to the sewage works and improve production of methane gas. It seemed like a good idea to us because condo owners have been paying excessive municipal taxes. These taxes pay for garbage, recycling and green bin pick up from homes but not from condominiums. The condominiums have been lobbying for years for some level of compensation. And since there is no current solution for a way green bin (compostable material) can be stored for pick up at condominiums, garburators are an ideal solution.

One of the councillors innocently asked the general manager of infrastructure and development if garburators were even legal in Babel. We had trouble hearing the mumbled answer but it sounded like they have been discouraged because they would overtax the sewage system. This seems patently untrue as the recent upgrade of the sewage system is designed to handle a much greater inflow than currently handled.

Our expert pointed out that in a study in New York City, two similar districts were tested, one with garburators and the other without. The small percentage increase in the garburator-using district had no impact on the sewage system. The only difference is that for every one per cent of solids from the garburators increased the available methane gas by an average of four per cent. The reason is that garburator materials such as vegetable peels, table scraps, et cetera produce a much higher volume of methane than fecal matter.

But you should not bother the tyros who run Babel City with the facts. They will create their own facts to suit their opinions.


Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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