Filling potholes: Crime or business opportunity?
Two Dallas area men, fed up with potholes on county roads, bought 1,300 pounds of asphalt and fixed the holes themselves. But the county says that’s illegal, and it may prosecute.
“We don’t know what kind of asphalt they used, and we don’t know if the job was done right” says Kelly Zwinggi, county public works director.
Maybe those Dallas offenders could be rehabilitated if they worked for the Massachusetts manufacturer of a pothole-patching substance made of asphalt, sand – and ground-up computers. Conigliaro Industries collects more than 25,000 pounds a day of plastic casings from computers, printers, scanners and other electronics to chew up for Cold Path, its water-based pothole filler.
“At first, everyone thought it was kind of a kooky product,” says President Greg Conigliaro. “But it has worked so well, and that’s been really rewarding.”
Cold Patch could be hot. An estimated 150 million computers will be thrown away by 2005 – and every trucker knows that potholes are America’s greatest renewable resource.
Thai one on with coconut-diesel cocktail
A gas station in Thailand sells a blend of kerosene and coconut oil to motorists who normally fill up with diesel. The new blend is a third cheaper than straight diesel, and sales are good.
Meanwhile, the king of diesel-dependent Thailand, who moonlights as an inventor, has applied for a patent to mix diesel with palm oil as a fuel for boat engines and farm machinery.
One reason that truckers elsewhere are leery of biodiesel is that it starts to freeze at 25 degrees. That’s no problem in the land of coconuts and palms, where the average year-round temperature is about 80 degrees.