Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 39, September 29, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Oh, truer words were never spoken: CalRecycle's spokesperson was quoted in the local Sacramento rag recently as saying that it is important to make the distinction between collected and recycled, and that whether something that has been tossed actually gets "recycled" is determined by whether there is the appropriate local processing capability. You got that right.

California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, humorously referred to as CalRecycle, is making another run at imposing lopsided control. The Golden State pays very little attention to their own legal definition of what constitutes Recycling, "… the process of collecting, sorting, cleansing, treating, and reconstituting materials that would otherwise become solid waste, and returning them to the economic mainstream in the form of raw material for new, reused, or reconstituted products …" The People's Money is instead used to "incentivize" a small cluster of entrenched "recyclers" to sell off the goods with the highest value, usually to be shipped out of the country to who-knows-where. Hey, State Agency, check your own code: if you can't tell where the stuff went or what happened to it, you sure can't count it as "recycled".

We would contend that Everything can be Recycled with the Right Tools. To make this work, communities need that "appropriate local processing capability". Unfortunately, this doesn't fit the current Recycler's concept of how to make money, or the state agency's idea of how to achieve that 75% diversion. Someone has to make the decision to invest and develop the needed processing infrastructure, and many of our Materials Recovery Facility owner/operators know that their plants are a great location for that to occur. But wait: with another round of hefty incentives, the good people running the MRFs can continue high-grading easily recyclable goodies from the trash instead of pushing further into Recovery. After all, the rest just gets sent on to the Dump.

Earlier this year the State scheduled a workshop to start honest discussions about some of the more controversial thermal waste conversion technologies and their place in the infrastructure of appropriate local processing capabilities. Yeah; that never happened. Instead, now we see CalRecycle will host a series of workshops to discuss the Horrors of Bad Packaging. With the existing strength of control over Cans, Bottles and Newspaper Recycling, perhaps anything that can't be poured into a glass bottle should be canned … or maybe just wrapped up in a roll of old newsprint.

The State's "recycling" agency and the existing recycling industry need to stop congratulating each other on increased subsidization of the front end of the recycling process, and wherever possible take that risk to build out the needed back end, the local processing capacity. Step up where you can, but if that doesn't work for you, then don't impede others who are ready, willing and able to take a swing at clean and economical waste conversion for resource recovery. If you can't lend a hand, at least get out of the way.

Hey Rube!

Despite the roadblocks, some forward-thinking municipalities continue to slog ahead. The City of San Jose and Los Angeles City and County can be counted among those stalwart bodies of leadership.

This Week's Top Story

GranBio Begins Producing Second-Generation Cellulosic Ethanol in Brazil

Brazilian biotech company GranBio Investimentos S.A. has initiated production at the first commercial-scale plant for second-generation (2G) ethanol in the Southern Hemisphere. 09/28/2014

The Week's News

DOE BETO Schedules Waste-to-Energy Roadmapping Workshop

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) wants to identify and address key technical barriers to the commercial deployment of liquid transportation fuels from waste feedstocks. 09/28/2014

Southwest Airlines Will Purchase Jet Biofuel from Red Rock Biofuels

Texas based Southwest Airlines® Co. has signed an agreement with Colorado company Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) to purchase low carbon renewable jet fuel, made using forest residues. 09/28/2014

Proterro Will Conduct Waste CO2 to Sucrose Pilot at Bunge's Brazil Facility

New Jersey based Proterro, Inc and Bunge Global Innovation, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bunge Limited (Bunge), will conduct a pilot study of Proterro’s sucrose-production technology in Brazil under a joint development agreement. 09/27/2014

USDA Awards Vega Biofuels' JV Pilot Plant a $200,000 Producer Grant

Georgia based Vega Biofuels, Inc has announced that its Allendale, South Carolina Joint Venture (JV) project with Agri-Tech Producers, LLC (ATP) has been awarded a Value-Added Producer Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the amount of $200,000. 09/27/2014

Cambi System Will Treat 50 Dry Tonnes/Day of Sludge at Greek WWTP

The Greek construction company Aktor has awarded Cambi a contract for the installation of Cambi’s Thermal Hydrolysis THP B6 system at Psyttalia Island Wastewater Treatment Works in Athens. 09/25/2014

CEC Schedules Workshops on ARFVTP Grant Solicitation Process

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has scheduled five staff workshops to share information and answer questions about the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) grant funding process. 09/25/2014

UK Partners with Metro Vancouver for 'Love Food Hate Waste' Campaign

In her blog, Dr. Liz Goodman, CEO of the United Kingdom's (UK) Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) announced that their organization has secured a partnership with Metro Vancouver, Canada to bring the UK's Love Food Hate Waste campaign to British Columbia. 09/25/2014

Iona Capital Invests in Second MT-Energie Biogas Plant in Scotland

Iona Capital Ltd has completed an investment in a second anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Scotland. Iona has once again teamed up with MT Energie, the German AD specialist and Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) who will source the network entry equipment and oversee the projects connection to the gas grid. 09/25/2014

New York Initiative Calls for BCA for Distributed Energy Resources

In its proceeding on Reforming the Energy Vision, the New York State Public Service Commission has undertaken an initiative to improve the efficiency of the New York electricity system through the promotion of distributed energy resources (DER). 09/25/2014

MagneGas Enters Final Test Phase with New York City's Fire Department

Florida based MagneGas Corporation (MagneGas) has announced that it has received formal confirmation from the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) that it has commenced final testing of MagneGas® for use as a replacement to acetylene. 09/24/2014

Gaelectric Group Acquires Imperative Energy to Enter Biomass Market

Ireland based Gaelectric Group has announced that it has acquired Imperative Energy Ltd., a leading provider of biomass energy solutions in Ireland and the United Kingdom. 09/24/2014

Biogen Becomes First Producer of Certified Biofertilizer in Wales

Biogen’s GwyriAD food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) plant near Caernarfon has become the first in Wales to achieve the Publicly Available Specification PAS 110 status for its biofertilizer. 09/24/2014

CARB Hosts 2nd 2014 Low Carbon Fuel Standard Advisory Panel Meeting

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has scheduled the second 2014 meeting of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Advisory Panel for October 6, 2014 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Cal/EPA Building in Sacramento. 09/23/2014

The Biochar School Announces Its Inaugural Session in California

The Biochar School has announced that registration is open for its first session on "Appropriate Technology for Small Farms." The session will be held at Swallow Valley Farm in Valley Ford, California on November 7-11, 2014. 09/23/2014

Bion Files Patent for Next-Gen Livestock Waste Treatment Technologies

New York based Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc has announced that it has filed a new patent application for its next-generation livestock waste treatment technologies. 09/22/2014

IEA Bioenergy Task 42 Releases Global Biorefinery Status Review

The International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy Task 42 on Biorefining team has released a review of the global status of biorefinery development completed earlier this month. 09/22/2014

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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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