Having to sort tin cans, plastic bottles, and stinky leftovers is no fun for anyone. But a new technology in Australia called the UR-3R may just end up disposing of this old-fashioned recycling by hand. According to freelance author Chris Prunty, garbage trucks bring waste straight to the new facility, where huge magnets pick out the metal, and a conveyor quickly sorts organic from inorganic waste. The organic material, like old foodstuff, is fed into percolators to be turned into compost, while the glass, paper, metal, and plastic is recovered for future use. It’s still a bit pricier than landfilling, but may offer dense urban areas a smart, market-based way to take out the trash.

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  • CFACT, founded in 1985 by Craig Rucker and the late (truly great) David Rothbard, examines the relationship between human freedom, and issues of energy, environment, climate, economics, civil rights and more.