You may have seen pictures of the post-Katrina “Refrigerator Graveyard” or “Appliance Graveyard”. Most of these appliances had messages painted on them. Like the “warning, we will shoot” messages on some of the houses, it got lots of press. I’ve even seen a book entirely of photographs of these appliances. Of course it has a Wiki entry. People even went as discarded appliances for Halloween.

I’m sure this has become a tradition for all appliance disposal in the city. I’m also sure it will eventually lead to an annual parade and become yet another excuse for the city to get together and get sloshed.

According to “On Earth“, after Katrina, twenty-two million tons of toxic waste needed to be dealt with in Louisiana alone. By comparison, New York’s World Trade Center was 1.5 millions tons (albeit not spread over the whole state). In a “normal” year, LA produces 350,000 tons of garbage. A lot of this was in the form of refrigerators or other appliances with refrigerants or so-called “E-waste.” Last I heard, Waste Management, Inc. (the “environmental” waste company) buried it all right outside a Vietnamese immigrant community and wrecked their groundwater (scroll down to “Debris” here). I haven’t done tons of research to verify this.

I’m not sure what the date is here, or even if these numbers are supposed to be a date (almost looks like an IP address). Katrina hit on August 29th, 2005.  Sept. 24th, 2006 is the day the Saints re-opened the Superdome.

Originally published Jan 2009