Some wise people out there may have some suggestions!
In my travels around the working world I have noticed a recent phenomena. Many factories / plants have a huge build-up of pallets, plastics and metals. This is a direct consequence of economic conditions. Yesterday I was at a place where the yard was so clogged up with junk that vehicles and people could not move safely. Recyclers are not interested in removing "stuff" and indeed many recycling plants have closed down.
One particular issue is polystyrene packaging. It is bulky, messy and awkward to handle and few municiple waste facilities are prepared to take it, even with compacting. It is nasty stuff anyway.
The backside has fallen out of the steel markets (no construction or car manufacturing happening) and thus metal waste (including compacted cars) cannot be sold.
Stacks of wooden pallets are piling up all over the show as far fewer are needed due to a general contraction of commercial activity. All those trees
It strikes me that this is yet another aspect of the "credit crunch crisis" that has not yet received enough attention.
And yet there must be some sort of practical opportunity out there to reuse all this wasted material. I did see a low-cost housing initiative in Africa many years ago whereby polystyrene mixed with concrete was used to rapidly build basic houses.
PS: Some links relating to these issues:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/12 ... _we_do.php
http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources ... astics.htm