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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 24, June 11, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

When we "Recycle", we divert something headed for disposal and put that something back into the mainstream of useful goods. We think that is what happens when we put recognizable thingies in the blue recycling bin instead of the black trash can. There! I've Recycled! Not so fast there, folks. Removing something from the constant flow of garbage on its way to the landfill (or into the ocean) is a good start and sure makes us feel better, but unless that loop gets closed, unless that recyclable actually becomes useful again, we're just shuffling trash. Until that can is thermally converted to molten metal, until that newsprint is pulped, bleached, pressed and dried, the job's not done. Someone somewhere has to employ Conversion Technologies, be it Thermal, Kinetic or Microbial in nature, to deconstruct the stuff we've carefully recovered from the dumpster and turn it back into useful commodities to finish the job of Recycling.

International Trade is a wonderful, vibrant thing, and many countries rely heavily on shipping stuff elsewhere for their very survival. Follow that flattened can, that broken bottle, that stack of newspapers and see where they go. Chances are they DON'T go to an in-state reprocessing plant (Heavens no! Those industries are Dirty!) Much of the California Recycling Industry would dry up and blow away if those mountains of crumpled, cruddy plastic couldn't be sold to processing plants overseas, if those drums of broken glass couldn't find their way to the cheap labor deep in Mexico.

Recycling is easier to understand when what we Recycle is a recognizable thingie. Less so, when it looks like nothing more than the gooey crud at the bottom of the trash can. But that gooey stuff can be recycled too, into energy, into chemicals, into fuels. Those crumpled dirty plastics that don't have just the right little symbol on their round bottom? Their molecules can be pulled apart and recovered, turning that "waste" back into things we need that didn't have to come from Syria under armed guard. Isn't that true Recycling? Construction began on an Organic Waste Recycling Center in Sacramento last week. Anaerobic digestion of food waste: conversion of that gooey crud back into useful vehicle fuel. When you set aside a bucket of food waste instead of mixing it into the common trash, Good Job: that is the very Front End of Recycling, granted. But when you get around to using Conversion Technologies to turn that gooey waste back into something you really need, that's Recycling, too … just the other end of the same cow.

Hey Rube!

The UK is struggling with one part of this question right now. See our News Item about their Resource Association's attempt to track and disclose to their citizenry where their recycled goodies actually go for reprocessing. Yet nothing is simple. Dr Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, asked, “Do the general public really want to know which specific UK, Chinese, Indian or Indonesian mills their cardboard or newspapers may end up at?”

What do you  think? Do you really want to know?

The Week's News

California's Proposed AB 2390 Would Boost Community-Scale Biopower

California Assembly member Wesley Chesbro's Assembly Bill AB 2390 reached the Senate this week, after introduction of the proposed legislation last February. 06/09/2012

Clean World Partners Constructs Food Waste Digester in South Sacramento

Sacramento-based renewable energy development company Clean World Partners announced the start of construction of its Organic Waste Recycling Center, a two stage, phased-solids anaerobic digestion facility with an integrated biogas vehicle filling station. 06/09/2012

Viridor Consults Public on Glasgow Recycling & Renewable Energy Centre

United Kingdom waste management and resource recovery firm Viridor has announced the start of an extended public consultation campaign for its proposed redevelopment of the Polmadie waste treatment plant. 06/09/2012

Enerkem Starts Waste to Biofuel Production at Quebec Demo Plant

Canadian gasification specialist Enerkem has announced the start of ethanol production from waste at its Westbury, Quebec demonstration facility. 06/08/2012

Presentations Online from CalRecycle's "Digesting Urban Organic Residuals"

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has  posted speaker's presentations from its Digesting Urban Organics Residuals (DUOR) forum held May 30, 2012 in Sacramento. 06/07/2012

GoBiGas Biomass Gasification Demo Plant Under Construction in Sweden

Western Sweden's leading energy company,  Göteborg Energi , has provided a short video (with English subtitles) as the first in a series showing construction of the first stage of the GoBiGas plant in the Rya harbor in Gothenburg, Sweden. 06/07/2012

Citizens in the United Kingdom Will Soon Know Where the Recycling Goes

The Resource Association, the United Kingdom's recycling industry organization, announced the official launch today of a voluntary recycling industry charter to provide the public with a clearer picture of where their recycled materials ultimately end up. 06/07/2012

BIOX Secures New York Harbor Site for 26 Million GPY Biodiesel Plant

Canadian biodiesel producer BIOX Corporation has signed agreements with International-Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT), owners of a 600 acre New York Harbor shipping terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey. 06/06/2012

Dynamic Energy Licenses Pyrolysis for Texas Tire to Fuel Energy Campus

Memphis based Dynamic Energy Alliance Corporation (DEAC) has announced that its wholly-owned intellectual property subsidiary Dynamic Energy IP, LLC has signed definitive agreements for exclusive world-wide licensing rights to pyrolytic technology from R.F.B., LLC of Prairie Village, Kansas. 06/06/2012

Xebec Receives $2MM Purchase Order for Hydrogen Purification System

Canadian gas cleaning and upgrading company Xebec has announced a CAD $2.05 million purchase order for its H-3200 fast-cycle Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) hydrogen (H2) purification unit. 06/06/2012

DSM Enzymes for Cellulosic Ethanol Passes Tests in DONG -Inbicon Trials

Netherlands' materials science company Royal DSM has announced that trials of its cellulosic ethanol enzyme package have been successfully completed in DONG Energy - Inbicon's 1.5 million gallon per year demonstration-scale biorefinery in Kalundborg, Denmark. 06/06/2012

Flint Hills Becomes Customer After Investing in EdeniQ in Joint Relationship

Based in Visalia, California, EdeniQ has announced that Flint Hills Resources ethanol-producing Renewables division will now become a customer and as well as an investor in what the companies describe as a joint development relationship. 06/05/2012

Purdue Researchers: Fast Pyrolysis to H2Bioil Close to Economical

The Purdue University Newsroom reports that a research team led by Rakesh Agrawal has successfully developed a fast pyrolysis technology platform for production of biofuels that appears it can be cost-effective at production scale. 06/05/2012

Five Industry Leaders Form Collaborative for 100% Plant-Based Plastics (PET

Five international corporate leaders have announced formation of a new collaborative focused on accelerating the development and use of 100% plant-based plastics and fibers. 06/05/2012

USDA Announces Committee to Advise on New Forest Planning Rule Roll-Out

The Forest Service has announced the selection of 21 members to serve on the National Advisory Committee for implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule (Forest Planning Rule). 06/05/2012

EPA's 2012 SBIR Phase 1 Awards Support Four Bioenergy Research Projects

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced twenty-five Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase 1 awards totaling over $2 million, with each grantee receiving up to $80,000. 06/04/2012

Governor Supports Plasco Salinas Valley Waste Gasification Project

The June 1, 2012 letter from Governor Jerry Brown's Executive Secretary Nancy McFadden to Plasco Energy Group has essentially rescinded the rescission notice sent to Plasco last week by CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen. 06/04/2012

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Recommended Reading:

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamondis and Steven Kotler
Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamondis and Steven Kotler

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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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