Way back when, Wednesdays

Waste to wattage

Imagine if you didn’t cringe every time your power bill arrived. And if the contents of your bin was the solution to cheap and affordable electricity! Is this science fiction? One far sighted resident of Ridgehaven wrote to the Tea Tree Gully and Campbelltown councils because he believed that converting rubbish into electricity was not only possible but cost effective.  Mr. J. Sagen’s futuristic plan to burn general refuse in specially designed furnaces at Torrens Island power station, made front page news in the the Leader Messenger on 23 January, 1974.

waste power

Forty-three years later, on 1 March 2017 the Eastern Courier Messenger http://www.adelaidenow.com.au reported on the proposed construction of a $300 million plant in South Australia, where household rubbish would be converted to electricity. Recycling company Integrated Waste Service approached six of Adelaide’s councils, including Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, Unley and Burnside with a view to  purchasing their rubbish. This new incentive could lead to an alternative, reliable energy option for our state.

Peter Dyson, the managing director of the Kwinana Waste to Energy plant, which will begin operating in Perth in 2020, stated that one wheelie bin of rubbish could produce up to 20 per cent of a household’s weekly power needs.

480 plants across Europe generate electricity by burning combustible, non-recyclable residential and industrial waste. The most common way of generating electricity from rubbish is by burning solid waste, which would normally go to landfill. Garbage is incinerated, transforming chemical energy into thermal energy at temperatures of up to 1093 Celsius. The heat then makes steam, which drives a turbine and produces electricity that feeds into the grid. Waste conversion facilities must meet strict guidelines, in order to filter emissions and capture pollutants such as dioxin, from being released into the air. Harmful methane gas is produced when waste decays which contributes to global warming. It can also be used as fuel.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

yatala-bombing

Get out of gaol free!

A plan to detonate gelignite bombs inside Yatala Labour Prison, was front page news in the Leader Messenger on 7 December 1983.  The article highlighted chronic staff shortages at Yatala.  Prison officers were overworked and forced to do excessive overtime in order to maintain minimal staffing levels.  Inmates had become more violent, endangering the lives of prison officers.  There was hearsay that prisoners planned to set several fires before Christmas.

Follow up articles on page 9 largely focused on how an increase in staff numbers could solve these issues. More dramatically, the Messenger related how an inside source had revealed that chemicals had also gone missing, which prisoners could use to manufacture homemade bombs. There were allegations of a coverup, as the Prison administration and State government were aware of the potential danger.

crisis-at-yatala

Note that the Yatala Labour Prison is still standing. So the prisoners’ evil plans to bomb the building must have been thwarted. Hopefully the Crisis at Yatala articles led to the State Government employing additional staff to ease the pressure on existing prison officers and to try and curb further violent episodes.

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Bon Voyage Videos

I remember the first time I saw a movie on Video Cassette.

I was about three (or possibly four) years old. The film was Star Wars. Born the year after the film came out, the only way I had to see it was on video, and even then only when we were at a friends or my grandparents house, as we didn’t possess a video player.

Several years later, we finally purchased an Akai Video Cassette recorder and signed up with several local Video Libraries. The first film we hired was Ghostbusters.

Over the next decade and half, I hired, purchased or taped from the TV literally hundreds of movies. My very first job while studying at Uni was actually working at a local Movieland video library.

It was while working at Movieland that I first heard about this new technology coming that might one day replace Videos, much as Audio Cassettes and Vinyl had been superseded by CDs.

The new technology was called the Digital Versatile Discs or DVDs.

Initially DVDs could only be used to play movies, but now it is possible to record directly to a disc as well.

By 2005 movie studios began to phase out Video as a medium, with the last new film to be released on cassette being A History Of Violence.

 Over the last twelve months, the Tea Tree Gully Library has slowly been phasing out video cassettes in favour of DVDs.

As of the beginning of 2010, DVDs will be the only format offered by the Tea Tree Gully Library.

As a ‘last hurrah’ it was decided to conduct a ‘video domino’ tour of the library finishing at the DVD shelves.

To view the footage, click below.

 Goodbye Videos, you may be gone, but the good times will not be forgotten!