New Orleans debris heads to the landfill, isn’t reused or recycled

New Orleans is taking great pains to recycle the waste left by Hurricane Katrina. Wait, you believed that? We’re totally lying. Debris from the pummeled city is being dumped in the landfill by the truckload, including heaps of potentially reusable building materials such as cypress and cedar beams, bricks, cinderblocks, and roof tiles. Why is there no citywide plan for salvage and recycling? Says the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s recycling specialist: “We don’t have the time.” Dude, it’s been seven months! Small-scale recycling efforts are under way, but big projects have gone nowhere, including a proposal to generate energy from landfill waste. Oh, and local environmental regulations concerning landfills were waived following Katrina. “We’re creating a massive environmental liability for the future,” says a local green activist. Man, the future’s going to love New Orleans.