The Subway Graveyard

September 6, 2011 Environment 3 Comments 8,772 Views

The Subway Graveyard Of The Atlantic.

While browsing through the magazine “PM”, I came across a really interesting article about the subways of New York and their disposal.

How to get rid of them.

So what do you do with old subways? You could either cut them up with machines and reuse the metal. But what if the walls and floors are polluted with asbestos (used as fireprotection)? Well, just throw it into the Atlantic!? Enraged environmentalists couldn’t believe this idea. What about nature!? Well, exactly that was the point: nature should profit from this “weird” idea.

That can’t be good.

Today, more that 1.200 old subways lie on the bottom if the Atlantic and even the environmentalists agree with this crazy plan. You’re probaly thinking the same thing I thought at this point: “So you can’t reuse the metal because of the asbestos, yet throwing it into the ocean is ok?!” Well, here’s how the situation looks: All the wheels, windows, doors and lubricants are cleared off the subways until only the covering is left. The asbestos remains but many researchers have found out, that it’s no danger to the under water life (I’m still not convinced but ok…). Just off the coast of New Jersey, Delaware and Virgina, huge derricks then throw the skeletons into the water.

Their new life.

As soon as the subways sunk to the ground, their new life begins. New guest arrive and settle down there. Where before there was only sand, there now is an artificial reef. Environmentalists are happy with this, yet still say that animals should live in their natural habitats…

My opinion: Out of sight, out of mind.

It’s clear that if you throw something into the water, fish and other animals will come. But (and this is a big but), why do we have the right to use the ocean as our dumping ground? Just recently I posted an article about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and even though the subways might be more “animal friendly” than plastic, the end result is still the same: We humans want to get rid of our garbage and therefore use every possible opportunity to do that;  “Out of sight, out of mind” is all I can say to that. In the long run, it’ll all come back anyway…

© Photo credit Stephen Mallon.
Subway Graveyard. © Photo credit: Stephen Mallon.
Photo credit © Stephen Mallon.
Subway Graveyard. © Photo credit: Stephen Mallon.
Photo credit © Stephen Mallon.
Subway Graveyard. © Photo credit: Stephen Mallon.
Photo credit © Stephen Mallon.
Subway Graveyard. © Photo credit: Stephen Mallon.
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3 Comments

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“The Subway Graveyard Of The Atlantic.”

  1. Angelika

    O boy! How f****** mad are we humans? I’ve never heard about this madness-can’t get it.

  2. I think you put it best – out of sight out of mind mentality. I’d be afraid to know everything that “we” as a collective dump on our ocean floors.

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