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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 31, August 5, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Oh, no! Just collecting, sorting, and brokering stuff separated outta trash isn't really what the law says is Recycling! But if Recycling is not really what we have been doing all these years, just how are we supposed to get on track?

One of the most difficult changes we humans face comes when we've long ago decided what is right and proper, and now we find that not to be the case. Those underlying precepts become the cornerstones for so many later decisions, and color how we interpret what we observe. Organizations go through the same stages of denial, anger, depression, and acceptance as we do. When those organizations are agencies that have been charged with making and enforcing the rules the rest of us live by, there is a lot to untangle.

It is also hard to lead from behind, and California is used to staying at the front of the line. Yet world-wide, agencies and the communities they serve are avidly applying new technology to take apart trash and turn it back into goods, basing tech-neutral decisions on solid science, system performance, and operational cleanliness. The whole Circular Economy process seeks to ensure "highest and best use": Try to reuse that plastic container to hold something else, when it's empty. If not, turn it back into another plastic bottle. That won't work? Then convert it to oils and chemicals. Still too cruddy? Then for goodness sake, at least squeeze every last drop of energy outta it, and turn it into electricity and heat. You Can't?? Whadda ya mean, the state's "Resource Recovery" agency won't permit it?

When those "you can't do that" anti-waste-conversion rules were made well over a decade ago, we really couldn't accomplish most of the clean conversion from crud back to goods that we can these days. The agencies based the laws, rules, and policies on what they saw and heard at the time. There certainly weren't so many examples you could go see work and ask questions about. The Internet couldn't instantly bring you case studies from the UK, from Norway, France and Germany, and there wasn't even Teru Talk to do the digging for you (gasp!).

That's all changed with the rapid growth and global integration of clean waste conversion as the last step in Recycling. The tired old excuses don't hold water any more. The laws have been changed to promote technology neutral, science-based "reconstituting" of recyclates back into those raw materials needed for remanufacturing. There are timelines now for the key agencies to implement those laws with transfigured regulations. But before we can turn that corner to Recycling Sanity, there's this thing called policy to overcome. Policies are those arbitrary decisions humans make when they lead agencies.

It's not a lack of technology. It isn't even the letter of the law that's in the way. It's humans, and their stubborn determination to cling to entrenched precepts about what is and what isn't acceptable, based not on today's knowledge, but on what they knew a decade ago.

Hey Rube!

This week, really read the News items we've posted: you'll find case after case of waste being cleanly turned into goods. Then pick a News link and send it to an Agency Administrator.

The Week's Extra Reading

See the  Bioenergy Producers Association's comments  to CalRecycle, re: MRF Performance Standards and AB 341.

This Week's Top Story

Neste Adds 'Technical Corn Oil' to NExBTL Renewable Diesel Feedstock

Finland's Neste Oil has announced addition of another non-food waste / residual feedstock into the production of its NExBTL renewable diesel: technical corn oil (TCO), a residue generated during ethanol production. 07/31/2013

The Week's News

NOTE: If you are using IE10 and our website isn't loading as smoothly as you would like or the page jumps when you click on a link to go to a certain news item, just change to "compatibility view" and all will be fine.


JBI Participates with Crayola in New 'COLORCYCLE' School Program

New York headquartered JBI, Inc. has announced its participation in Crayola, LLC's "COLORCYCLE" school program to turn used Crayola markers into clean energy. 08/02/2013

ENER-G Will Furnish CHP System for Fife Anaerobic Digestion Facility

Manchester, England based ENER-G has announced that it will  supply a high efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) system for its new anaerobic digestion facility at the Lochhead landfill site in Dunfermline. 08/02/2013

UK DfT Plans £25MM Competition for Advanced Biofuels Demo Projects

The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that it will make £25 million of capital funding available to enable the construction of demonstration-scale waste to fuel and other advanced biofuel plants in the UK. 08/02/2013

RES Receives UK Government OK for 100 MWe North Blyth Biomass Plant

Headquartered in the United Kingdom (UK), Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. (RES) has announced UK governmental consent for development of its 100 megawatt electric (MWe) North Blyth Biomass Power Station to be located at Battleship Wharf in Northumberld's Blyth Estuary. 08/01/2013

Integrated Biomass Resources Funded to Complete Oregon Facility Expansion

United States based investment firm Advantage Capital has announced that its small-business lending division BizCapital has provided $3.7 million to Integrated Biomass Resources (IBR) for completion of the company's forest-sourced biomass products manufacturing and distribution center in Wallowa, Oregon. 08/01/2013

ZeaChem Biorefinery Receives EPA Registration for Cellulosic Biofuels

Colorado-based ZeaChem Inc. has announced that it has successfully secured US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration of the company's Boardman, Oregon demonstration facility to assign Renewable Information Numbers (RINs) for cellulosic biofuels. 08/01/2013

INEOS Bio Produces Waste-Sourced Cellulosic Biofuel at Commercial Scale

Illinois-based INEOS Bio has announced that its Indian River BioEnergy Center is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale with the first ethanol shipments being released this month. 08/01/2013

APL Completes USAID-Sponsored West Africa Biomass Gasification Tour

Berkeley-based All Power Labs (APL) has posted news of the firm's demonstration and installation workshops this month in Liberia, Nigeria and elsewhere in the West African region. 07/31/2013

Global Clean Energy adds AD through Full Circle Renewables Joint Venture

Texas based Global Clean Energy, Inc (GCEI) has announced entry into a joint venture with California's Full Circle Renewables, LLC (FCR) to co-develop waste to fuels projects. 07/30/2013

GIB Backs 15.8MWe Biomass Plant as First Northern Ireland Investment

The United Kingdom's Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) has announced its first investment in Northern Ireland of £20 million in collaboration with the investment management firm the Foresight Group. 07/30/2013

Gevo Ships Biobutanol to US Coast Guard for Marine Engine Testing

Based in Colorado, Gevo has announced that it has begun supplying initial quantities of 16.1% renewable isobutanol blended gasoline to the US Coast Guard (USCG). 07/26/2013

Energos Receives Planning OK for Northern Ireland Waste Gasification Plant

United Kingdom (UK) based Energos has announced receipt of planning approval for an 80,000 tonne per year waste gasification facility to be developed in Lisburn, Northern Ireland at the site of the former Burn House Rendering plant. 07/25/2013

RWE Begins Commissioning of Markinch Biomass CHP Plant in Scotland

The Fife Council in Scotland has announced a key milestone in bringing the Markinch Biomass CHP plant on-line with RWE npower renewables feeding seven hundred tonnes of wood chip into the plant's feed handling system. 07/25/2013

DOE Awards $11MM to Small Businesses for Clean Energy Technologies

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has announced awards of almost $11 million for projects focused on clean energy technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation; a list of the awards is provided. 07/25/2013

Appalachian State Researchers Receive Biofuel / Biochar Research Grant

Appalachian State University (App State) has announced receipt of a $45,000 grant from the non-profit North Carolina Agricultural Foundation for a project to economically convert biomass to biofuel and biochar. 07/24/2013

Biffa Partners with Jewson for Green Energy and Zero Waste to Landfill

The United Kingdom (UK) based Biffa has announced entering into a partnership agreement with Jewson Ltd., the construction materials supply and distribution subsidiary of Saint-Gobain. 07/24/2013

Solarvest Bioenergy Secures Key Canadian Support for Algal Research

Canadian algal specialists Solarvest Bioenergy have announced receipt of approval for two research support programs through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). 07/23/2013

Construction Starts in Alabama on Advanced MRF with BHS Recycling System

Oregon based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) has announced the ground-breaking ceremony for a highly-automated and integrated materials recovery facility (MRF) and zero waste conversion complex in Montgomery, Alabama for recycling the region's municipal solid waste (MSW). 07/22/2013

UK's ORG Releases Guidance for Land Application of Organics from MSW

The United Kingdom (UK) based Organics Recycling Group (ORG) has announced release of a guidance document addressing standards for land restoration with the separated organic materials (SOMs) fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW). 07/22/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 08/19/2013: Proposals to NSF on Advanced Dry Cooling for Power Plants

The Directorate of Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with the Electric Power research Institute (EPRI) has announced release of a solicitation seeking solutions to address the critical problem of water usage and consumption at power plants for cooling. 07/23/2013

Due 09/06/2013: Comments to CEC on Distributed Generation Costs

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced a workshop scheduled for August 22, 2013 exploring the costs and impacts on the electricity system associated with increased distributed generation (DG) installations in California, and how costs and impacts change based on interconnection location, distribution feeder characteristics, load types, and project size. 08/02/2013

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Recommended Reading:

Waste to energy conversion technology
Waste to energy conversion technology (Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy 2013)


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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.