Two fun examples of business models that reside adjacent to the waste stream.
First a fun posting about getting free food for your pigs by talking to the guy at the cold storage warehouse who has to puzzle out how to dispose of damaged good. (HT – Rebecca). He’s obviously having fun playing the game, but I don’t think he’s won until he get’s them to pay him to cart it away. I gather some cheese makers pay pig farmers to take the waste whey off their hands. Since they can’t dump it in the river anymore.
Second buried in the tail end of this article at the New York Times we discover that this guy is actually running a small business in stooping trade. He pays people for bags of discarded betting slips, then he pays other people to sort, flatten, and stack ‘m, and finally he stands around for hours a day feeding them into the scanner. I tend to doubt his employees are getting health insurance; since apparently he’s grossing only around $45K/year.
There is a story in my family about the uncle who lived in the attic when he wasn’t filthy rich. One of the ways he got rich was buying train cars of too wet grain, mixing it with dry grain and selling it. I guess trash based business models are in the genes. Maybe I should start a new category.
There must be an amusing book about this kind of stuff.
There was a pig farmer on Dirty Jobs who was located around Las Vegas. He was doing quite well with uneaten food from casinos/hotels.
The sewage treatment plant serving Portland, Oregon, digests its raw sewage with methanogenic bacteria, and sells the methane gas to local industry.
(About halfway down, under “Anaerobic Digesters.”)
They also sell their, uhm, biosolids. Biosolids are apparently the more solid part of sewage.