Sometimes, it's difficult to tell where our water, power and communication systems come from, or where our wastewater, garbage and recyclables go. There is an infrastructure we all depend on, though generally, we are not conscious of it (unless something goes wrong with it!) You can Map these underlying necessities and help people understand how their daily life is connected to the larger bio-regional watershed and to vast networked systems beyond the town's borders. You can include information about joining citizens' board that oversee the planning and development of the infrastructure, and include options for more sustainable choices/daily habits.

drinking water source: indicates the source for your drinking water. May be used to show reservoirs, and major elements of water system. Water purity and conservation information. Icon can be used in a line - - - - to indicate major underground pipelines.

wastewater treatment plant: generally, municipal systems for treating wastewater and sewage, some with public information centers or tours, which can be noted, with statistics in the text.

landfill: municipal solid waste dumps where garbage and soil are layered together, sometimes in a properly lined landfill (dump) with a methane gas capturing system. When filled, decommissioned landfills are capped and sometimes landscaped.

solid waste transfer station: where refuse is transferred from one kind transportation to another, for more efficient movement to landfill, recycling processor or other resource/waste facility. Some transfer stations offer places to exchange useful items, separate recyclables or dispose of household toxics.

incinerator: solid waste is burned at high temperatures, sometimes capturing the embodied energy (waste-to-fuel). The volume is reduced considerably, but in some countries, the resulting ash is considered hazardous waste, and needs a special landfill. Often, toxics are emitted from the smokestacks as air pollution. Often considered an expensive, unhealthy, inefficient method of disposal. Incinerators at hospitals, crematoriums and large institutions as well as municipal facilities can be mapped.

energy grid generator: generally, conventional, fossil-fueled, hydro-electric or nuclear facilities that provide electricity to the public. May include utility company or conservation offices. Alternative or co-generation facilities could be mapped. Where does your power come from? How can you use in more wisely?

revised 2-4-99
text from the Green Map System's Guide to Green Mapmaking, ©Modern World Design 1999