The Garbage Can Is My Gas Pump
Reason Magazine has a long and fascinating article about an artist's collective and squat in Berkeley called The Shipyard. After having the electricity shut off by the city, the collective was stuck with having to generate its own power. They tried various methods such as solar and biodiesel, but struck gold with an archaic process called gasification.
In a nutshell, gasification is a process of heating up any carbon-rich material in a special container that produces carbon monoxide and hydrogen which is then burned as fuel. These materials includes coal, petroleum and more importantly, biomass, plastic and items we would consider garbage. Besides running the squat on gasification, they also successfully powered cars by the process.