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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 8, February 25, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

The path to Recover raw materials for making more goods is convoluted and fraught with misinformation. Take Food Waste: it sounds like Society wastes almost more food than it eats. Want to save money and reduce food waste in your kitchen or your restaurant? Stand by the trash can after the meals, and see what gets thrown away. If they don't eat the creamed peas, change the recipe, or don't serve the peas. If half the spuds go to the trash, cut the spud portions in half. But that doesn't always work; I don't eat banana peels, but they get counted as food waste. Should I start eating banana peels? Should I eliminate bananas from my grocery cart? Nonsense. Let the folks with the proper tools handle those peels, and use them for composting or for anaerobic digestion. Your part? Encourage your region to have right tools.

OK, here's another bone to pick: thin grocery store plastic bags. It is Very Popular right now to ban those bags, and instead encourage shoppers to bring their own colorful, Made-in-China bags made out of what? Recycled Plastic. I've finally got enough odd-sized BYOBs (bring your own bags) … and the bag-person with a smile drops that leaky package of chicken right down into my colorful BYOB. "Wait!" I say, "Would ya mind putting that mess in Plastic first?" Who knows what's growing in the bottom of my BYOB. I'm beginning to think it is not worth my family's food-related health to be so socio-environmentally correct.   I remember when we were told paper bags were BAD and if we cared about the environment, we would use plastic ones.

Here's a different take on plastic grocery bags: Go right ahead and use them, in fact, bring your own throw-away bags to the store if your area bans them. Just make sure your local MRF has the tools to convert them to beneficial goods locally, instead of sending them to China to make them more colorful so they can sell them back to us. "But Wait!" I can hear the screams, "Those baggies get loose and fly all over the place and make a Horrible mess!" Well, I personally adopted a very effective anti-floater trick I picked up from reading Edward Humes' "Garbology" … Tie a knot in it.

Hey Rube!

In a Circular Economy, we need to keep track of Materials and take personal responsibility for ensuring that as few goods as possible get destroyed and as much as possible gets put back into use. Right now, the US and Europe differ in the official Waste Management Hierarchy, but there's a movement afoot to bring the two policies in line. The difference: the European Union places Recovery below Recycling / Composting, and above Waste to Energy and ultimate Disposal. The US lumps Materials Recovery right in with incineration. That isn't going to get us to a Circular Economy. See what your own state says about Recovery versus Disposal, and Vote for Recovery.

The Week's Extra Reading

Guest author Larry Buckle, PE has written a response  to the article submitted by guest author Dominic Meo III last week, " Providing a Road Map to Implementing AB 341 ". California's AB 341 establishes a detailed new Policy Goal "encouraging" 75% diversion from landfill by 2020.

We have added a link in the left panel of the website to the articles and reports on Teru Talk in the ongoing discussion of California's AB 341. Now you can find them all in one place. Submit an article to us for publication if you want to join in the discussion.

The Week's News

CEC Community Scale Renewable Energy Awards Include RePower Humboldt

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced the grant award winners for the "Community Scale Renewable Energy Development, Deployment and Integration (REDDI) grant program. 02/24/2013

Thermogen Proposes Torrefied Wood Pellet Plant Near Port of Eastport, Maine

The torrefied wood production company Thermogen Industries, LLC, a forest products subsidiary of Cate Street Capital, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Eastport Port Authority in Maine at its regular board meeting to develop a torrefied wood pellet facility on February 19, 2013, according to local news coverage. 02/23/2013

Encina Wastewater Authority Completes Preliminary Design for FOG Addition

The Encina Wastewater Authority (EWA) in Carlsbad, California has reported completion of preliminary design for the next step in its progressive biofuels project. Designs include receipt and storage systems necessary to add waste fats, oils and grease (FOG) to its anaerobic digesters (AD). 02/23/2013

Cereplast Spins Off Algaeplast to Commercialize Algal Biomass to Bioplastics

California based company Cereplast has announced creation of wholly-owned subsidiary Algaeplast, Inc. to further develop and commercialize production of bioplastic resins from algal biomass. 02/23/2013

California ARB Schedules LCFS Regulatory Amendments Workshop

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a notice scheduling an all day Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Workshop for March 5, 2013 with two separate sessions. 02/22/2013

GDT Tek Will Purchase Wisconsin Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant for $9MM

Florida based renewable and sustainable energy company GDK Tek has announced it intends to purchase a landfill gas (LFG) to energy production plant located in Wisconsin, and has filed a Form 8K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) amending its profile to reflect the agreement with the owners. 02/22/2013

Diacarbon Energy Awarded $1.05 million From SDTC for Bio-Coal Demo Facility

British Columbia based Diacarbon Energy, Inc has announced securing $1.05 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). 02/20/2013

Florida Governor Approves BioNitrogen to Issue $175MM in Tax Free Bonds

Florida based BioNitrogen has announced it has received approval from the Florida Governor's office allowing up to $175 million allocation of tax free bonds, which clears the way to begin plant design on their proposed facility. 02/20/2013

ElectraTherm Green Machine Commissioned at Biogas Plant in Czech Republic

Nevada based ElectraTherm, Inc has announced the commissioning of its Green Machine organic rankine cycle (OCR) waste heat to power generator by plant constructor EnviTec Biogas at a biogas plant in Straznice, Czech Republic. 02/20/2013

Harmonic Energy Signs 10 Year Carbon Black Supply Take-or-Pay Agreement

London based Harmonic Energy, Inc has announced the signing of a 10 year waste-sourced carbon black supply agreement with the Texas firm Carbon Black Sales (CBS) on a take-or-pay basis. 02/19/2013

DOE Awards $1MM to Strategic Analysis to Advance Cost-Competitive H2 Fuel

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has announced an investment of $1 million to advance the analysis and evaluation of methods for cost-competitive production and transportation of hydrogen fuel from renewable sources. 02/18/2013

US Forest Service Releases Proposed Directives for 2012 Planning Rule

The United States Forest Service (USFS) has announced the release for public review and comment of the 2012 Planning Rule Directives, the key set of agency guidance documents that will direct implementation of the 2012 Planning Rule. 02/18/2013

Strategic Bond Offering Will Package GDT TEK and Green USA Recycling

Florida based GDT Tek, Inc has announced that it will expand its strategic partnership with Indiana based recycling and waste to energy firm Green USA Recycling Corp. 02/18/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 03/08/2013: Comments to California's Cap-and-Trade Investment Plan

Update : The ARB has now posted workshop details and released a Draft Concept Paper on the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Investment Plan. 02/22/2013

Due 04/22/2013: Proposals to DOE for Advanced Gasification Technologies

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released Funding Opportunity Notice DE-FOA-0000784 entitled "Advanced Gasification Technologies Development and Gasification Scoping Studies for Innovative Initiatives." 02/19/2013

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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.