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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 46, November 12, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Some time ago, I watched in fascination as my 80+ year young mother carefully placed a great variety of materials in that Big Blue Bin in the driveway by the back of the house. When I questioned whether all that stuff was indeed recyclable, she looked up in surprise and replied, "Well, it SHOULD be!"

And that's the truth: if one member of our community is done with something, others should be able to reuse or reprocess the stuff back into something useful. The decisions each of us make regarding what is, what isn't, and what SHOULD be "recyclable" unfortunately depends on what instructions we receive by our haulers, our agencies, and by Society at Large. That information tends to be shoddy at best. We are misinformed about what CAN be accomplished. We all know that our discards go somewhere, but even the State doesn't know what happens once those segregated goods are sold to out-of-state, often out-of-country buyers. What's pulled from the trash depends far too much on what the daily prices are for foreign materials brokerage, because of course we can't have those "dirty industries" that actually do the reprocessing here, where we live. Not that we don't know how; we just have never had to take care of the reprocessing business near the source of the waste generation. Now, those Jobs are starting to look a little better; now, those Resources are getting a bit more precious.

There are plenty of clean technologies available to reprocess discards, and keeping that last step of Recycling right here at home also dramatically cuts the greenhouse gas emissions when compared to long-haul diesel, even trans-oceanic shipment. The problem is broken Policy, not a lack of technology. And if everything is potentially Recyclable, then everything should simply be placed in one bin and shipped off to those that sort, clean, treat, and reprocess. Let's let the folks that run the Materials Recovery Facilities manage Waste like they are trained and equipped to do. The people with the proper gloves and goggles, sensors and conveyor belts can sort everything out, figure out what can be reused and recycled. But let's also focus on what comes next, what happens to the stuff that gets pulled off the line, and the reasons why. Right now, most of those left-over resources still are trundled off to the Dump.

Hey Rube!

If you can get to Los Angeles just after Thanksgiving, plan to attend CalRecycle's 2nd MRF workshop and lend your thoughts to the more technical side of California's recycling and resource recovery. This week's newsletter provides some nice resources to get you prepared. The City of Houston spelled out its "Total Reuse - One Bin for All" program and received serious kudos for the proposal. Meanwhile, across the Pond, the United Kingdom's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has presented a well-documented case for measuring and monitoring all sorts of materials recovery and recycling centers, finding: "The single most important type of data for understanding how to improve HWRC [their "Household Waste and Recycling Centres"] performance relates to the composition of residual waste. It is therefore a good idea to monitor the composition of residual waste at HWRCs on a regular basis." What a novel idea! Wonder why California doesn't do that? Why don't you ask 'em?

The Week's Extra Reading

See Teru's Focus Report on AB 341 Lessons Learned (so far) , based on his presentation at Southern California Waste Management Forum'sAnnual Conference & Exhibit held on November 7, 2012 in Pomona. Teru's presentation at the afternoon roundtable also included a slide show .

The Week's News

Praj to Build $30MM Lignocellulosic Biofuels Commercial Scale Demo

India based Praj Industries has announced that it is developing a $30 million commercial scale demonstration biorefinery for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass feedstock to ethanol. 11/11/2012

Stoel Rives Releases Free "Law of Biorefineries and Advanced Biofuels" Guide

Oregon based legal firm Stoel Rives has announced release of "The Law of Biorefineries and Advanced Biofuels", which covers issues such as early stage financing, business models, intellectual property, regulatory and permitting requirements, real property procedures, contracts and incentives. 11/11/2012

CalRecycle Hosts 2nd MRF Technical Workshop in LA on Standards, Residuals

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has announced that it will host the second in a series of workshops on November 26, 2012 at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Main Building to explore developing possible performance standards for Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs). 11/11/2012

Houston Places in Top 20 of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge

The City of Houston has announced its placement among the top 20 US cities in the Mayors Challenge, the latest initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies to "spread proven and promising ideas among cities." 11/10/2012

Cleantech Open's 2012 Global Forum Announces This Year's Finalists

The Cleantech Open has announced "category winners" following last week's Global Forum held in San Jose, California. 11/10/2012

WRAP Releases Household Waste and Recycling Centre Guidance

The United Kingdom Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has announced the release of a new guidance document focusing on best management practices in handling household waste and recycling centers. 11/10/2012

Covanta Refinancing Three Waste-to-Energy Plants with $335MM in Bonds

New Jersey based Covanta Holding Corporation has announced that it has priced new tax-exempt bonds totaling $335 million and are expected to close later in the month. 11/10/2012

Edeniq and Aemetis Form Advanced Biofuels Implementation Partnership

California based biochemicals and biofuels specialist Edeniq, Inc has announced an agreement with advanced biofuels producer Aemetis to install Edeniq's biomass pre-treatment technologies in Aemetis' biofuels plant. 11/10/2012

Viridor and South London Waste Partnership Sign 25 Year Contract

Pennon Group Plc has announced that its subsidiary Viridor South London Ltd has signed a 25 year waste treatment agreement with the South London Waste Partnership. 11/06/2012

BioAmber, Faurecia-Mitsubishi Chemical Collaborate for Automotive Bioplastics

BioAmber, Inc has announced that it will supply biobased succinic acid to the Faurecia-Mitsubishi Chemical partnership for production of automotive plastics. 11/06/2012

Campbell Soup and CH4 Biogas Partner on Ohio's 1st Biogas Power Plant

Campbell Soup Company has announced a partnership with Florida based CH4 Biogas LLC to develop Ohio's first commercial anaerobic digestion (AD) facility for generation of methane-rich biogas to electricity. 11/06/2012

Vision Plasma Systems Signs Brazilian Manufacturing Agreement

Nevada based Vision Plasma Systems, Inc. has announced entering into an agreement with the Mayor of Londrina, in the State of Parana, Brazil, promising incentives to develop a manufacturing facility. 11/05/2012

Renmatix Signs Russian Biochemical and Biofuels Development MOU

Pennsylvania based cellulosic sugar production company Renmatix has announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian State Corporation "Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs" (Vnesheconombank) and the venture capital firm Bright Capital Management. 11/05/2012

SDSU Researchers Develop Bio-Oil, Biochar, Activated Carbon Process

South Dakota State University (SDSU) researchers in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering have used Sun Grant funds to develop a cost-effective rotating fluidized bed reactor for conversion of agricultural residues and other biomass into bio-oil. 11/05/2012

Alter NRG Closes $10MM Strategic Financing Round

Alberta, Canada based Alter NRG has announced an agreement to issue 30,769,230 common shares to three new strategic investors at a price of $0.325 per common share for total gross proceeds of approximately $10 million. 11/05/2012

BIOGEN Secures Agreement for 2nd Food Waste AD Plant in Wales

Bedfordshire, United Kingdom based BIOGEN (UK) Ltd has announced an agreement with the North Wales Consortium (representing Denbigshire County Council, Conway County Borough Council and Flintshire County Council) for development of an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Waen, St. Asaph, Denbigshire, Wales. 11/05/2012

The Week's Action Items

Due 11/30/2012: Renewable Energy Project Proposals to SCPPA

The Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking renewable energy products as structured projects. 11/10/2012

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Featured Events:

 2nd Annual Waste Conversion Congress - West Coast
Waste Conversion Congress
West Coast

Long Beach, CA Nov 28-29, 2012

Recommended Reading:

"Waste-to-Energy, Second Edition: Technologies
and Project Implementation" by Marc J Rogoff and Francois Screve

Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons by Gary C Young

"Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons" by Gary C Young


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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.