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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 16, April 22, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Earth Day 2013Forty-three years ago today Gaylord Nelson, the Honorable Senator from Wisconsin, announced a "national teach-in on the environment" and stirred up 20 million Americans to really think about the filth they were creating and wallowing in, all in the name of prosperity: Thus Earth Day was born on April 22, 1970. This humble beginning signaled the socio-political movement that created the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global.

Shifting the global mid-set away from use and toss to adopt the habit of Recycling seems to have been kick-started that day in 1970, re-invigorated in 1990, and continually bumped toward sanity once a year since then. From the continuing swell of trash, Humans began to selectively sort out bottles, cans, newspaper, cardboard, and anything that really looked like it should and could be Recycled. Even today, you can ask just about anybody what is "recyclable" and what is not, what they now drop in the blue bin instead of the black, and you invariably get different answers. Is this a recyclable piece of waste? Well … it certainly Should be!

Recycling may have begun with the global desire to help and has been maintained by often misguided self-sorting decisions, but that's just the front end of the beast. It wasn't long before this trash sorting generated huge moldering piles of collected used newspapers, and dump trucks full of Recyclables going into landfill. There was no infrastructure in place to adequately and cost-effectively reprocess the "recyclates" into raw materials for new manufacturing. Forty years since Senator Nelson set things in motion, Humans are just beginning to wonder what happens with the Back End of that recycling beast does, and believe me, it ain't purty.

China's new president Xi Jinping has tightened the ports where recyclate-laden tankers dock to reduce the amount of low-value 'foreign waste' entering the country. Depending on China to provide the global Recycling Solution isn't working out very well anymore; it seems the country is tired of being dumped on. As with any pipeline, a plug at the far end will eventually back things up. It might be a really good idea to make sure whatever we sort out as Recyclable from the trash flow has someplace useful to go. To do that, we MUST know where they are actually going. Understandably, the global Brokers of Recyclates don't really want to turn over their books to any governmental body, but what isn't measured can't be controlled.

There is an alternative to nationalizing Recycling: Let's start the next phase of the Recycling Movement, and focus on building the recyclate reprocessing infrastructure right near where the wastes are generated. Call it: Earth Day 2013!

Hey Rube!

Take a good look at California's new waste management web portal, Data Central, a nice attempt to make all the data are publicly accessible. The state is as big as many countries, and certainly out-does itself in generating Trash. We should be able to use the California efforts as a global model. Now try to figure out where the Recyclables go. If you don't find the information, ask where the detail is hidden. That information should be there, especially with the new Mandatory Commercial Recycling laws now being implemented. You can bet Somebody knows.

The Week's Extra Reading

See our new article by guest author Melvin W. Cook. "Existence Hypothesis: Resource Recovery Plant" looks at how a different technological approach can extract maximum energy from municipal wastewater.

The Week's News

Virginia Tech Team Turns Cellulose to Starch and Sugar for Food and Biofuels

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) has announced a breakthrough in conversion of cellulosic wastes and other non-food biomass into amylose starch and glucose. 04/20/2013

International Research Team Identifies Fate of Charcoal and Biochar in Soil

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has reported that an international research team has determined key elements of the fate of charcoal once it enters the soil, part of the global carbon cycle crucial where highly porous charcoal and biochar forms of carbon are incorporated to effect carbon sequestration. 04/20/2013

CalRecycle Launches New State-Wide Waste Management Data Web Portal

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has reorganized its voluminous information into one "Data Central" web-portal, especially useful given the Mandatory Commercial Recycling program now being implemented under AB 341. 04/20/2013

Sita Selected for 30-Yr Resource Recovery Contract with Meyerside Authority

The United Kingdom based Sita UK, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement, has announced that the Sita Sembicorp UK consortium it leads has been selected as the preferred bidder on a 30 year waste management and resource recovery contract with the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA). 04/19/2013

Carbios Enters €7MM Public-Private Collaboration for Plastic Waste Conversion

French green chemistry company Carbios has announced entering into a public private partnership focused on optimizing value from waste plastics, and developing new bio-sourced polymer alternatives. 04/19/2013

LS9 to Expand Florida Facility Following Successful Biobutanol Trials

South San Francisco based LS9, Inc has announced plans to expand its Florida testing and demonstration facility following successful biobutanol production scale-up trials for Cobalt Technologies. 04/18/2013

US-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge Initiates Advanced Biofuels Collaboration

Two non-profit organizations have reported that the winning Israeli companies from the US-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge are now meeting with key US researchers and program managers to discuss collaborative biofuels opportunities. 04/18/2013

ADB Loans $200MM to Dynagreen for Waste-to-Energy Plants in China

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it is extending $200 million in loans to the Dynagreen Environmental Protection Group Company (Dynagreen) to help small and medium-sized cities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) turn their growing mountains of solid waste into a sustainable source of renewable energy. 04/17/2013

ABO Releases On-Line Interactive Global Map of Algae Industry

The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) has announced the release of an interactive on-line mapping tool showing the global location, name, and other key information for algae production facilities and research institutions, national laboratories, demonstration and commercial projects, and other efforts undertaken by ABO members and non-members. 04/17/2013

Canadian Collaborative Launches PowerHaus Clean Tech Competition

The green technology investment company GreenAngel Energy has announced the launch of its PowerHaus competitive initiative in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and the Canadian National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). 04/17/2013

Cobalt Technologies Takes Steps Toward BioButanol Commercialization

California-based Cobalt Technologies Inc. has released two announcements that together advance the company's biomass to n-butanol technology platform. First, Cobalt has signed an equity investment based strategic partnership agreement with two Asian chemical companies for the development of a complete biomass-to-butadiene solution and construction of a commercial-scale biorefinery in Asia. 04/17/2013

EC Highlights SYNPOL Project for Biopolymers from Syngas Fermentation

The European Commission's (EC) Community Development and Research Information Service (CORDIS) has released its first update on the SYNPOL Project launched at the beginning of last year. 04/17/2013

European Commission Launches 3-Year €6.2MM BioBase NWE Project

BioBase Europe has announced the European Commission's launch of a new project focusing support for bio-based product development innovation upon the northwestern European region. 04/16/2013

Sweetwater Energy Signs $250MM Cellulosic Sugar Off-take Agreement

New York based Sweetwater Energy, Inc has announced signing a 15-year $250 million cellulosic sugar off-take agreement with bioproducts company Naturally Scientific. 04/16/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 6/04/2013: Proposals to City of Los Angeles for Organic Waste Processing

The Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN) has posted a newly-opened Request for Proposals (RFP; BAVN ID 16519)) from experienced contractors to provide receipt, processing, and reuse of green material, food material, and horse manure collected from the City of Los Angeles curbside collection program. 04/18/2013

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Featured Events:
8th Annual
CBA Symposium

Sacramento, California
18-19, 2013
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.