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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 44, November 4, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Pumpkins after Halloween The parade of Goulies, Ghosts and Goblins is now past, leaving in their wake a sad collection of jack-o-lanterns whose scary smiles are beginning to sag. In the US, our Department of Energy says we produce 1.4 BILLION pounds of pumpkins each year and a whole lot goes from making a happy Halloween to being a humongous waste. We carve 'em, prop 'em up - and then drop 'em in the dumpster.

This Pumpkin Catastrophe not just a US peccadillo: the UK considers pumpkin waste the real Halloween Nightmare with thousands of tons of prime pumpkins tossed into the trash each year. One of the larger UK market chains, Tesco, points to their own annual sales of 2 million pumpkins by the end of October, mostly sold in the week before Halloween.

There's this long-standing argument about how proper it is to make fuel from food stuff. How can Biofuels producers in good conscious take food from the very mouths of the starving populace just to make a buck. Why, oh why can't we just EAT the darn things? So when we approach this end-of-harvest global celebration, out come all the pumpkin recipes - pumpkin soups and soufflés, pumpkin lasagna and don't forget the roast pumpkin seeds …

But if you've ever tried to make a pie out of the pumpkins sold for Halloween you know that, well, there's a difference. The vast majority of those big old gourds we buy late in October are grown to be carved and trashed, not to be turned into delectable pies and cookies. They are dry, even sorta woody. They sure aren't very sweet. And they are made that way on purpose, 'cause people aren't buying those things to eat. OK, so everybody gets a bit of the blame for this one, from the farmer to the market, the buyer to the City's trash management folks. For All Hallow's Eve, the really scary thing is we are intentionally making food to waste, from seed to final toss.

You can actually buy pumpkins that make good munchies, and you can still carve 'em with a ghoulish face. Next year, remember to save and roast the seeds when you carve your masterpiece, so you don't get a hoard of volunteer pumpkin sprouts in your garden. If you compost your household food waste, by all means compost those jack-o-lanterns. Right now, you've got a fuzzy pumpkin carcass to do something with, and there's always the trashcan.

You've now got a year before the Great Pumpkin Nightmare of 2014. You have time to ask around, see if maybe there is someone within pumpkin-pitching distance that can turn those tons of pulp into compost, or even biogas in an anaerobic digester. Well, somebody should.

Hey Rube!

Ask your local officials what they'd like you to do with your dead pumpkins. They have plans for unwanted Christmas trees, after all.

The Week's Extra Reading

The Puente Hills Landfill in Los Angeles County closed last week after operating for over 50 years. The November 1st newsletter of " Beyond Waste " by Edgar and Associates has an excellent writeup, and besides, it's a good read.

This Week's Top Story

Algae.Tec Will Supply Technology to Phoenix Energy Australia's W2E Plants

Australia based Algae.Tec Ltd has announced entering in a binding agreement with Phoenix Energy Australia Pty Ltd to provide its proprietary algae to biofuels technology for proposed waste to energy (W2E) facilities in Australia and New Zealand. 10/29/2013

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.


Foster Wheeler Receives FNTP for CFB Steam Generator in South Korea

Foster Wheeler AG just announced that a subsidiary of its Global Power Group has received a full notice to proceed (FNTP) by GS Engineering and Construction for the design and supply of a circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) steam generator for the Green Energy Centre Project. 10/31/2013

Biodiesel Production By-Product Can PreTreat Sugarcane Bagasse for Biofuels

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology’s Syngenta Centre for Sugarcane Biofuels Development in Australia have just published an article on the use of a by-product of biodiesel production, glycerine, modified as glycerol carbonate (GC), to pre-treat sugar cane bagasse for biofuels production. 10/31/2013

Waste2Tricity Negotiates $1.5 million Equity Investment in Thai Subsidiary

London based Waste2Tricity Ltd (W2T) has announced completion of negotiations for a $1.5 million investment into its wholly owned subsidiary, Waste2Tricity International (Thailand) Ltd. 10/30/2013

Albany County Sewer District Installs CHP System for Energy From Waste Heat

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the unveiling of the Albany County Sewer District's (District) multi-stage combined heat and power (CHP) system that is expected to save the county an estimated $400,000 per year. 10/30/2013

Akron Unveils New AD Facility that Converts 100% of Biosolids to Biogas

The City of Akron, Ohio, has announced completion of the Akron Renewable Energy Facility at its Water Reclamation Facility that converts biosolids into biogas to produce renewable energy in the form of electricity. 10/30/2013

IBERDROLA Awarded Contract to Build Two Biomass Power Plants in Canada

Based in Spain, Iberdrola, S.A, has announced that IBERDROLA INGENIERÍA, the group's engineering and construction company, has been awarded a contract valued at €240 million for construction of two biomass power plants in British Columbia, Canada with a combined capacity of 80 megawatts (MW). 10/29/2013

ITRI Introduces 1st Technology for Bio-Butanol from Cellulosic Biomass

The Taiwan based Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has announced the introduction of ButyFix™, the first biochemical technology for bio-butanol transportation-fuel production with a negative carbon footprint using cellulosic biomass as feedstock instead of corn. 10/29/2013

Symposium Scheduled on the 'Future of Energy Recovery from Wastes'

An international gathering of scientists, researchers, and industry experts will be meeting in Toronto on Thursday, October 31, 2013 to discuss the opportunities and challenges created by state-of-the-art energy recovery (energy-from-waste) technology. 10/28/2013

Emerald Biogas Opens Food Waste to Energy AD Plant in NE England

United Kingdom based Emerald Biogas Ltd has announced completion of its new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, the first commercial food waste facility in North East England to begin operating. 10/28/2013

Covanta and Turning Earth to Provide Organics Recycling in Connecticut

US based Covanta Energy Corporation and Turning Earth, LLC have announced a new partnership to provide organics recycling to Connecticut municipalities and businesses. 10/28/2013

REG Opens Mason City Biodiesel Plant and Announces $20 Million Upgrade

Iowa based Renewable Energy Group (REG) announced that it held a ribbon cutting ceremony today to formally open its recently acquired biodiesel refinery in Mason City, Iowa and announced it has begun a $20 million project to upgrade the plant to a multi-feedstock facility. 10/28/2013

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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.