Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 14, April 6, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Unless the Jet Stream takes an abrupt turn sometime soon, the western United States will continue to dry up and blow away while the eastern states remain in the deep freeze. This is bad. The Sierra Nevada snow-pack just hasn't happened, and whatever is presently in the drinking water reservoirs is it. It's high time to start counting gulps.

Teru Talk could preach against "wasted water", but that's just so ... obvious. Besides, everybody's already mouthing the phrase Cut Back on Water Use. Instead, we'd like to look closer at how daily trashing of the planet cuts hard into the meager water stores. Let's explore the Water-Energy-Waste nexus. It takes water to clean things that get dirty, and it is difficult to clean that used water once it is mixed it up with any sort of waste.

Most of what everyone does uses water, from cleaning dishes and taking showers to washing cars and watering lawns. Every time we wash a dish, rinse out that shampoo, scrub bugs off the windshield or flush ant-killer off the patio, we add another helping of crud to the water supply. It takes work to get that water clean enough to drink again, so cleaning waste out of water costs money. While you are considering whether to hose off the driveway, think a minute about what's gotten that hard surface dirty in the first place, and where the crud will go, right along with all that wasted water.

Now let's get real, here. The hundreds of gallons of water we get all dirty and then flush are just drops in that proverbial bucket compared to the millions of gallons we need to grow our food.

There's more water than tomato in a plump, ripe tomato. It costs to get that water into tomatoes; it costs to get those watery tomatoes outta the field and into the markets. It sure costs to purchase those juicy veggies and get them from market shelves to our dinner table. Every step along that supply chain, we lose a few more to squishing, bruising, and stupidity. With every plump tomato, succulent leaf of lettuce and crisp cucumber that can't make the leap from field to fork, we lose more water than salad.

We can reclaim and clean a bit of that water by gathering up food scraps. You have to get the organic stuff out of the water to make fuel that burns, after all. We are starting to run the water treatment plants that clean the water on their own biogas; when we add the food scraps to the sewage, the digestion makes more gas. We are also beginning to learn how to "bio-fuel" the trucks that bring the salad-makings from the field to the store.

Now, about the water going into that dirt we need to grow things. The more precise the drip, the less water simply flows past the roots. And the more organics we work into the field, the longer that dirt holds its water. Where, you ask, can we get cheap organics for farmers and gardeners to till into the dirt? Silly - by recovering organics, instead of burying them in landfills.

Hey Rube!

Governor Brown just committed a billion dollars toward easing the drought in California, passing Assembly Bills 91 and 92. The funds are spread around to support all sorts of water-wise efforts. Read the bills, think about what you can do that might ease the drought, even just a little. Lesson: don't dirty the water; you may need to drink it soon.

This Week's Top Story

IH2 Thermal Catalytic Platform Licensed to Global Forest Products Company

A leading global forest products company headquartered in Northern Europe has entered into an FEL-1 license agreement with Texas based CRI Catalyst Company (CRI). 04/01/2015

The Week's News

ILG Hosts Webinar on Streamlining Planning Process for Recycling Facilities

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) will host a free webinar from 10:00am to 11:00am on April 14, 2015 entitled, Tips to Streamline the Planning Process for Recycling Facilities. 04/04/2015   

VTT Spin-off Spinnova Spins Yarn Directly from Wood Fiber to Make Fabric

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has announced its latest spin-off, research, and product development company Spinnova Ltd, which was launched in January. 04/01/2015

New Anaerobic Digestion Plant to Increase Renewable Energy in NE England

Foresight Group (Foresight) has announced the first investment made by the recently announced £50m Recycling and Waste LP fund (the fund), backed by the United Kingdom (UK) Green Investment Bank plc (GIB). 03/31/2015

Global Bioenergies Starts Construction of Isobutene Demo Plant in Germany

French company Global Bioenergies has announced the onset of construction of its demonstration (demo) plant for the production of isobutene through conversion of renewable resources through fermentation. 03/31/2015

Methes Energies Sells Technology for Biodiesel Facility in Canada

Nevada based Methes Energies has announced the sale of a Denami 600 biodiesel processor and a PP-MEC pre-treatment system to Drain Bros for a commercial biodiesel production facility in Ontario, Canada. 03/31/2015 

The Week's Action Items

Due 05/01/2015: Proposals to Develop Certification Course for Zero Waste

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) have jointly released a Request for Proposals seeking a Contract Project Manager for the development of a Zero Waste Principles and Practices (P&P) Certification Course. 04/04/2015

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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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