In The 1980s The Mobro 4000 Was Extremely Influential In What?
Answer: The Recycling Movement
Although it sounds like some sort of fancy video processor or a new electronic music group, the Mobro 4000 was something far less glamorous–a garbage barge. In 1987, it was made infamous by its meandering journey from New York all the way down to Belize. The barge was loaded with almost 3,200 tons of garbage originally intended for a facility in North Carolina. When local news caught wind of the huge amount of trash that was about to be imported to their city, city officials rejected the shipment. The barge spent the next six months travelling down the Atlantic coast looking for somewhere to dump its contents. U.S. states and foreign countries alike rejected the barge while national and international media outlets reported on the plight of American waste disposal.
The image of the Mobro 4000 and what it symbolized–the failure of the American solid-waste distribution system–sparked public debate about landfill closures, how many landfills would be needed to sustain consumption patterns, and, importantly, how non-biodegradable materials like plastics and electronics could be kept out of landfills. With the image of the hulking trash barge fresh in their minds, millions of Americans started recycling in earnest and communities across the country began instituting municipal recycling programs.