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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 27, July 2, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

It's already in the law. "Recycling" isn't the just separation of good stuff from bad. It isn't the just collection, the transport to the MRF, or the bales of plastics and cardboard destined for who-knows-where. According to California's Public Resources Code:

Recycling = Collect > Sort > Clean > Treat > Reconstitute > Raw Material

Like everything else, Recycling can be done well or it can be done poorly. You have to think about what it is you are actually trying to accomplish. If the only facility that can turn your recyclable materials back into fresh raw material is half-way around the world, whatever enviro-perks we gain by Recycling go away when we count value by the gallon of diesel. If the final work doesn't get done in California, we're also giving the Jobs. But here's the rub: What we don't count, doesn't count, right? If we don't bother to ask how much bunker fuel that tanker used to get to Singapore, we never add that into the enviromental cost of Recycling that bale of plastic. Recycling isn't about counting what gets pulled off the conveyor at the MRF. It's about the whole pathway: the hauler trucks, the MRF operations, and the tonnage that finally gets turned back into usable raw material. Or it isn’t Recycling.

Donald Rumsfeld, twice-Secretary of Defense, called it right in his recent memoir, "Known and Unknown." He said that in the Military, you learn that what you measure, improves. Put differently, he said, "You get what you inspect, not what you expect."

AB 341 now mandates Commercial Recycling, expecting far better Recycling numbers by 2020 than we're getting right now. The recycling numbers we show these days are based on how much is separated, not how much makes it back as a useful raw material. If we can't tell where the separated stuff goes, or how clean or dirty that job is, we can't start to find the weak spots and make the whole mess better. Unless we know very clearly what is occurring now, we can't tell what to fix

Hey Rube!

We've now filed our formal comments on CalRecycle's first draft AB 341 roll-out plan and also posted them to our site. Dig around in the state's on-line program page, read other's comments, see what Recycling means to us Stakeholders. Comments on this draft are due today. CalRecycle's next draft is scheduled to be out in September, and we'll all want to Speak Up.

The Week's Extra Reading

See Teru's comments to CalRecycle's first draft of "California's New Goal: 75% Recycling." This report is CalRecycle's draft plan for implementation of AB 341.

The Week's News

Hawaii Biochar Products Partners with Pennsylvania's The Biochar Company  

Pennsylvania based The Biochar Company has announced its partnership with the commercial biochar production company Hawaii Biochar Products, LLC. (HBP) to strengthen both firms and diversify their biochar products. 06/30/2012 

EdeniQ Launches Pilot Biorefinery Demonstrating Corn to Cellulosic Migration 

Located in Visalia in the heart of California's Central Valley, EdeniQ biomaterials and biofuels firm has announced launch of its pilot cellulosic biorefinery. 06/30/2012 

Gevo and Butamax Both Advance in Isobutanol Commercial Production Race 

Continuing a neck-and-neck race toward full commercialization, bio-sourced isobutanol production companies Gevo and Butamax have both released announcements of significant advances this past week. 06/30/2012 

International Biochar Initiative Calls for Expert Panel Nominations

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced a call for nominations to an expert panel for the development of standardized biochar stability test methodologies needed to establish a carbon market protocol. 06/27/2012

University of Minnesota Will Demo APL's 100 kWe Biomass Gasifier-in-a-Box

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMN) has announced a demonstration of its newly installed containerized biopower generation system this Thursday June 28, 2012. 06/27/2012

Pepco and Delmarva Power Will Offer Combined Heat and Power Incentives

Pepco and Delmarva Power, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Pepco Holdings Inc, have announced approval to conduct a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Incentive Program for development of projects within their Maryland territories. 06/27/2012

Texas AgriLife Estimates Cost of Delivered Mesquite Biomass for Bioenergy

The Texas A&M University AgriLife Research and Extension Service has provided an update on the economics of biomass acquisition, reporting on the on-going research efforts to utilize honey mesquite as feedstock for bioenergy. 06/26/2012

Tembec Replaces Oil Boilers with Biomass Boiler for CHP at Béarn Sawmill

The Canadian diversified lumber company Tembec inaugurated a new $6 million biomass-fueled 7 megawatt (MW) combined heat and power (CHP) generator system at its Béarn sawmill in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec. 06/26/2012

Piedmont Biofuels Celebrates Ribbon-cutting for Enzymatic Biodiesel Plant

North Carolina based advanced biodiesel producer Piedmont Biofuels celebrated the official opening of its new production facilities on Lorax Lane in Pittsboro last week. 06/26/2012

BiogenGreenfinch Gets Planning Approval for Food Waste AD Plant In Wales

Bedfordshire, United Kingdom (UK) based BiogenGreenfinch has announced it has received planning approval from the Gwynedd Council in Wales to build and operate the Caernarfon green energy plant, for anaerobic digestion of 11,000 tonne per annum (tpa) of food. 06/26/2012

USDA Awards Support 450 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

US Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Thomas Vilsack announced the agency has selected 450 projects to fund across the nation, focused on agriculture and small rural business to reduce energy consumption and implement renewable energy projects. 06/26/2012

W2 Energy Plans Manufacture of $5MM Waste and Coal to Diesel Prototype

Ontario, Canada waste conversion specialist W2 Energy, Inc. has announced receipt of a $5 million commitment for development of a 10-ton per day waste-plus-coal to diesel conversion prototype in Botswana. 06/25/2012

UK's New Beverage Carton Reprocessing Plant Will Boost Recycling Rates

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK has announced an agreement with Sonoco Alcore® to construct the United Kingdom's (UK) only beverage container reprocessing facility co-located with its production plant near Halifax, West Yorkshire. 06/25/2012

The Week's Action Items

Due 07/02/2012: Comments DOE's Guide for Large-Scale Renewable Projects

Last week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the publication of the draft Federal Renewable Energy Guide: Developing Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects at Federal Facilities Using Private Capital. 06/25/2012

Due 07/05/2012: Intent to Offer on SCE All-Source Power RFO

Southern California Edison (SCE) has issued a competitive Energy and Supply Management (ES&M) All Source Request for Offers (RFO) for new power contracts up to 4 years in duration, and is seeking (a) dispatchable unit contingent energy only tolling agreements, (b) non-dispatchable qualifying facilities resources and (c) resource adequacy capacity products. 06/25/2012

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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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