Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 27, July 7, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

In the grand scheme of proper waste management, we are first to reduce, then re-use, followed by recycle and ultimately disposal. Some would wedge "recover" between the blue-bin of recycling and the black hole of the dump. You say tomato...

It's easy enough to envision proper Reduction; just don't let any of those tomatoes get soft and squishy. Use while fresh and you won't have to toss. It's a little more difficult to give an example of Tomato Reuse - how about this: (1) Win a medal at the fair and then (2) take it home for salsa. Ah, now we are on to Recycle, an easy one: off go the little green top things into the compost bucket. Yes, tomatoes-to-compost should also be considered "recycling", as almost all organics can be recycled to recover all sort of useful commodities.

Now let's take a look at this gray zone between Recycling and Recovery, as in "waste conversion for resource recovery". Recycling is of course where we toss those plastic bottles in the blue bin, but it's only recycling if those empties actually end up being returned to the marketplace as new bottles (or something else), instead of finding a foreign incinerator. But - is there really any difference between the two terms, "recycling" and "recovery" when it comes to how we return our discards back into the economy?

The difference, it seems, is one of politics and money and has very little to do with function. Words divide as much as they define, and when your livelihood depends on defining the social high ground of Recycling as reclaiming, sorting, and selling newspapers, bottles, and cans, you do whatever you can to hold the line on that definition. Same goes for the rulemakers: when you've spent ages carefully putting Recycling into the code and built entire governmental programs around those requirements, it isn't comfortable to have to consider new ways that don't really fit the old code.

Those up-start technology companies that can turn that waste plastic into fuel obviously aren't Recyclers, are they? Well, maybe … But what about those AD companies that grab organics to make biogas instead of compost? Hmmm, sounds like examples of both Recycling and Recovery, to me. My goodness, where do we draw the line?

Recycling isn't restricted to separation and sale. Proper recycling means that we sort, clean, pre-treat, and prepare those recyclables so that they can be used as raw materials for re-manufacturing into new products. It's a "cycle", get it? And what are we accomplishing when we truly Recycle? We are "recovering" useful resources, rather than allowing destruction or disposal.

Proper recycling must recover the raw resources from the things we throw away, and cycle them back into the marketplace; its the Circular Economy.

Hey Rube!

If you think quibbling over terms is a silly pursuit, read up on the European Commission's recent policy statement pushing for zero waste. As society at large continually moves away from disposal and destruction, what we count as Recycling and Recovery can make all the difference.

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This Week's Top Story

Neste Oil Supplies NEXBTL Renewable Diesel to Power Helsinki Festival

Finland based Neste Oil has announced that it will be supplying 100% NEXBTL renewable diesel to generate electricity for this year's Flow Festival in Helsinki. 07/06/2014

The Week's News

US EPA Finalizes New Renewable Fuels Regulations and Standards

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing two actions intended to help make the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program more efficient and effective.  07/06/2014

EBRD Organizes Financing to Construct Major Biogas Project in Ukraine

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is organizing a financing program of up to €7.1 million to construct and bring into operation a 2.25 MW biogas plant adjacent to Rokytne sugar mill in the Kiev region of Ukraine. 07/05/2014

CR&R's Anaerobic Digestion Facility in California Is Under Construction

California based CR&R Environmental Services has announced that the first phase of its anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, California is under construction. 07/05/2014

Quad County Corn Processors Produces 1st Gallon of Cellulosic Ethanol

The Renewables Fuels Association (RFA) announced that Quad County Corn Processors has produced the first gallon of cellulosic ethanol in Iowa from its new cellulosic “bolt-on” ethanol plant in Galva. 07/05/2014

EC Adopts Key Circular Economy Position: More Recycling to Zero Waste

The European Commission (EC) has formally adopted the Communication position paper entitled, "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe" and accompanying appendices (annex) to establish a common and coherent EU framework to promote the circular economy. 07/02/2014

GE Water to Acquire Monsal for Advanced Anaerobic Digestion Technology

GE has announced that its water business, GE Water & Process Technologies, has agreed to acquire Monsal, a private United Kingdom (UK) based water, waste, advanced anaerobic digestion and integrated biogas-to-energy business. 07/02/2014

Scientists Convert Glycerol to Chemicals with Palladium/Gold Nanoparticles

Texas based Rice University has announced that research leader Michael Wong and his team have demonstrated and published on the cost-effective conversion of the glycerol residual from biodiesel production, using a just-right balance of nanoparticles of gold and palladium. 07/02/2014

California Partner Places First Order to Distribute MagneGas®

Florida based MagneGas® Corporation has announced that its partner Placer Power LLC in California has placed its first order and expects the delivery of 676 cylinders the 2nd week in July. 07/01/2014

New Lower Cost Process Converts Cellulosic Biomass to Sugars for Biofuels

A new report has just been published in the Biotechnology for Biofuels journal entitled a highly efficient dilute alkali deacetylation and mechanical (disc) refining process for the conversion of renewable biomass to lower cost sugars. 07/01/2014

Pacific Ag Seeks Additional Cellulosic Residual for Abengoa Ethanol Plant

The Hugoton, Kansas, operation of Oregon based Pacific Ag, LLC is looking for more wheat straw, which along with other ingredients, can be used to produce cellulosic ethanol, a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the inedible parts of plants. 06/30/2014

E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows Biomass Plant Starts Generating Electricity

E.ON UK has announced that its Blackburn Meadows biomass facility in Sheffield has generated electricity and synchronized with the local distribution network for the first time. 06/30/2014

BioAmber Secures CAD $20MM Loan for Sarnia Plant Construction

Minnesota-based BioAmber, Inc has announced that its Canadian subsidiary BioAmber Sarnia Inc has secured a CAD$20 million commercial loan for construction of the planned Sarnia manufacturing plant in Ontario, Canada. 06/30/2014  


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Teru Talk is an online publication of JDMT, Inc with the goal of opening the dialogue and providing current news and commentary on issues and successes associated with waste conversion to renewable energy, biofuels and other bio-based products for resource recovery.

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