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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 25, June 18, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Here's one for you to consider:

"The disposal of recyclable materials in the commercial solid waste stream prevents materials from circulating in the state economy to produce jobs and new products."

Stripped of its baggage it reads, "Disposal Prevents Recovery". This is absurd in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. The act of making waste generators segregate recyclable goods does not constitute recycling. Yet this statement is presented as a key Finding in Assembly Bill (AB) 341, signed into law by Governor Brown last October. And starting July 1st of this year, all those big bad Commercial Solid Waste Generators must  "arrange for recycling services." Whatever those  are.

We do so much magic and so much harm with words. We've been taught that "disposal" is the act of tossing things away, and that certainly is the case if we toss that something along the roadside, or into a hole or burn-barrel in our back yard. But when that discarded stuff is handled by so many along the way to the landfill Hole in the Ground, "disposal" is a long and drawn out process that must rely on an entire infrastructure.

In the same way, we think of "recycling" as separating something into a different pile, a bin designated for the bottles and cans and plastics and papers and cardboard. We picked at this idea in last week's Trash Talk. You don't accomplish Recycling by flipping something into the Blue Bin, any more than you do the dirty deed of actual Disposal by dropping something else into the Black Bin. It’s the process, the whole banana, and Commercial Generators are just the very Front End of that pipeline, like the rest of us. As the direct result of AB 341, they are also the scapegoat.

Here's a Visual Image (in words) for you: Image if you will that there is no bottom on that Blue Bin. The guys who do the Recycling dug a hole just like in those old cartoons, straight through to China! That certainly isn't going to create jobs and new products in the state economy, but California calls it Recycling! Now  imagine that a hole has been dug under the bottomless Black Bin, too. Except - it doesn't lead to anywhere  but  Down. That, for sure, is Disposal.

Hey Rube!

Start boning up, so you can help guide this ship of state. AB 341 requires CalRecycle and its many stakeholders to identify "problematic waste streams and sources" and to recommend better ways for handling those waste streams." We're finalizing an extremely detailed Focus Report that we'll publish this week, a Legislative Review of AB 341. You'll need that to work through the bill's language, and we'll post it on Teru Talk for future reference. And between now and the time you need to answer those questions about how to implement a Higher Goal for California's resource recovery, read our news for real-world, global examples of how others address this difficult yet very common situation. That should help.

The Week's News

Ford Includes Waste Conversion Programs in 2012 Sustainability Report

Ford Motor Company today announced release of its 13th annual Sustainability 2011/2012 report, called "Blueprint for Sustainability: Accelerating Ahead" and with enough detail to warrant its own website. 06/15/2012

CEC Awards $1.8MM to Biodiesel Industries of Ventura for Waste to Energy

During yesterday's Business Meeting, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved an award of $ 1,829,544 to Biodiesel Industries of Ventura, LLC, a subsidiary of Biodico Sustainable Biorefineries, to demonstrate integrated renewable energy technologies for biorefineries. 06/15/2012

Metso Supplies Efficiency Controls for Waste to Energy Plants in Europe

Finland based Metso Corporation has announced recent orders from CNIM Group for its automated process controls for waste to energy plants in the United Kingdom (UK), Estonia, and Italy. 06/15/2012

Incitor Secures $1.5MM for Biofuels, Biochemicals Demonstration Plant

New Mexico based Incitor Incorporated has announced closing of a $1.5 million funding round led by investor Cottonwood Technology Fund. 06/15/2012

Forest Stewardship Council Certifies Sustainability for Small to Large Forests

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) provides certification for sustainable biomass utilization at both ends of the forest lands management scale according to two announcements released this week. 06/14/2012

Waste to Alternative Fuels Projects Receive Lion's Share of CEC Awards

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced over $23 million in awards for green fuels development and of this amount, over $12 million directly addresses conversion of waste to alternative fuels. 06/13/2012

Ballina Biochar and WtE Project Receives $4.25MM from Australia Fund

The Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) has announced Round Two awards in support of priority capital infrastructure projects identified by local communities for the Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria areas of the country. 06/13/2012

UL Environment Launches Validation Service for Landfill Diversion Claims

Expanding upon its Environmental Claim Validation service, UL Environment has announced that it is now offering third party auditing and validation for three levels of diversion from landfill of a company's waste. 06/13/2012

Gazasia Secures $150MM Equity for Waste to Biofuels in the Philippines

United Kingdom based biogas upgrading specialists Gazasia has announced an equity investment of $150 million from Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc (AEV) to develop landfill biogas to liquid transport fuels in the Philippines. 06/12/2012

Montauk, NY Joins Fishing for Energy Partnership for Recycling and Recovery

Covanta Energy announced that in honor of World Oceans Day, the Long Island port of Montauk, New York has joined the novel public-private collaboration, Fishing for Energy. 06/12/2012

DARPA Awards $8MM to Amyris under "Living Foundries" Program

California's integrated renewable fuels and chemicals company Amyris has announced that it has been awarded a contract from the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance its industrial synthetic biology platform under the federal agency's "Living Foundries" initiative. 06/12/2012

EPA Region 9 Launches Online Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool

The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 9 (Pacific Southwest) has announced the launch of an online "waste to biogas" mapping tool in support of the conversion of organic wastes and residuals into renewable energy. 06/11/2012

Scotland's Outer Hebrides Gets Community Funding for Renewable Energy

The European economic development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has launched a new funding mechanism to support projects in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. 06/11/2012

NIB Funds Haldor Topsøe's Catalysis Research for Efficient Biofuels Production

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced a commitment of DKK 250 million (EUR 33 million) to support Danish company Haldor Topsøe A/S research and development (R&D) of catalysts and catalytic technologies, aimed primarily at efficient production of clean fuels and power generation. 06/11/2012

Topell Energy Secures €13 million for Torrefaction Commercialization

The Netherlands leading torrefaction systems developer Topell Energy has announced a successful funding round led by its existing primary investor Innogy Capital, securing €13 million to advance commercialization of biomass torrefaction. 06/11/2012

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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

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
Garbology: Our
Dirty Love Affair
with Trash
by Edward Humes
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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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The Teru Talk Newsletter is published weekly or more or less frequently, primarily depending on what is going on in the world of waste conversion or ours.