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How an Ink Cartridge Trashed in Seattle Ended Up in Mexico

How an Ink Cartridge Trashed in Seattle Ended Up in Mexico
Reuters

In August 2009, a team of researchers from the SENSEable City Lab in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning embarked on a major project to track the journey of 3,000 items of waste as they moved through Seattle’s disposal system. The goal of the project, called Trash Track, was to monitor the patterns and costs of urban disposal and to help create awareness of the impact of trash on the environment.

The results are both amazing and staggering to see and contemplate. Watch this 2-minute video to see how an ink cartridge and cell phone discarded in Seattle, for example, end up in Mexico and south Florida:

For more about Trash Track, which won an international award for visualization, start here.

This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog. Photo credit: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Kaid Benfield is special counsel for urban solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and author of several books on cities, smart growth and sprawl. All posts »

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