Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 13, March 30, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Organics! Organics! That's this week's, nay, this month's buzz word. From organics we are made, and to organics we shall return - now there's recycling for you.

From governments everywhere, the word is out: Keep those Organics out of the Landfill! Almost half of the stuff we toss is composed of biodegradable organic molecules. Silly stuff to throw away, since we can get heat and power, fuels and chemicals from those organo-discards. But left to rot on their own, nasty-gas is released into our atmosphere, instead of being converted and diverted to our fuel tanks.

Exactly how are humans supposed to turn from the ease of the toss, to the difficult and messy business of collection, separation, cleaning, pre-treatment, conversion, and remanufacturing? By law, we call that process Recycling. Last week in California we all watched with morbid fascination as the state waste management agency CalRecycle explained just how woefully inadequate we are when it comes to tracking and measuring recycled materials. We really can't even tell how much of the stuff we separate from our garbage ever actually gets recycled. We only know it's been separated.

If we can't manage to measure the processes and quantities of our recycling, organic waste or not, can we really tell if we have enough places to put it? Governments tend to make long-standing practices illegal before there are sufficient alternatives. With that much excess organic material being diverted from disposal, you would think that industry would be ready, willing, and able to make Business out of organic wastes. And yes, there is beginning to be a real gold-rush, with good folks trying to get the money, pull the permits and start turning waste organics into dollar bills. Maybe we're a bit out of order, but now we have the regs, we have the science, we have the technologies and we have the market for the end-products. So why is this so difficult? Ah, let me count the ways...

What we collectively have not figured out are cost-effective methods for collecting this wet and gooey gold, keeping it all separate from the rest of the garbage, and then getting it into a control system before the glop accomplishes its own open-air "waste conversion". We don't know how to build out and maintain the organic feedstock supply chain. Not a simple task, as it turns out.

Restaurants and markets are loathe to take on the training and handling needed to keep organics separate from the rest of the trash, even when smart folks can show them how. Trash haulers are set up to take big cans and bins and then put everything in the same truck; they tend to frown on the idea of collecting little wet and gooey bags of food waste. It seems better and more efficient to separate organics from other trash at the source than to mix them all up together. Thing is, everyone around the planet who is trying to convert organics for beneficial use must figure out some way to manage this step. Eventually, the Best Practices for Organics Collection will emerge. Until then, glove-up and be creative!

Hey Rube!

Here's your homework: everywhere you go, in your home or outside of it, start looking around at the organic goo being generated and tossed. Try to measure quantities, be aware of what sort of crud is in that muck, and guess where it will end up. Waste Generator, educate thyself.

This Week's Top Story

Springboard Supplies US Military in Afghanistan With Biodiesel System

California company Springboard Biodiesel has announced its selection to provide its turn-key, small-scale biodiesel processing system to Bagram Airfield in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan. 03/27/2015

The Week's News

GIB and ESB Support New £190m Biomass Power Plant on the Thames

United Kingdom (UK) Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and Irish electricity utility Electricity Supply Board (ESB) have made a combined commitment to invest £70 million in a new £190m renewable power facility at the Port of Tilbury, Essex. 03/27/2015

Greenleaf Power Purchases Plainfield Biomass Energy Facility in Connecticut

California based Greenleaf Power LLC has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Plainfield Renewable Energy facility in Connecticut. 03/26/2015

CEC to Award Grants for Clean Energy from Biogas, Biomethane, and RNG

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a “Notice of Proposed Awards” for Program Opportunity Notice (PON) PON-14-505, Advancing Clean Energy from Biogas, Biomethane, and Natural Gas. 03/26/2015

Applied CleanTech Completes Successful SRS Pilots in Mexico and Canada

California based Applied CleanTech (ACT) has announced finalizing its successful pilot program with Veolia France, Mexico and Alberta, Canada in implementing its Sewage Recycling System (SRS) Technology on a global basis. 03/26/2015

Air Liquide Technology Produces 2nd Generation Biofuel in Bioliq™ Pilot

France based Air Liquide has announced that the bioliq™ pilot plant in Germany is now producing second generation biofuel. For this project, Air Liquide provided key technologies for the pyrolysis* of biomass and gas synthesis as well as the oxygen supply needed for the gasification process. 03/26/2015

Centennial Renewable Energy Secures Financing to Build Idaho Pellet Mill

Centennial Renewable Energy of Idaho (CRE) has announced that is has signed agreements to purchase land for its first wood pellet project in the state and is beginning engineering design with its lead design build contractor Dome Technology. 03/24/2015

Xergi's New Biogas Plant Makes France More Self-Sufficient

Xergi has announced that a new biogas plant is now on the way to the village of Ennezat near Clermont Ferrand in central France. 03/24/2015

Scotland Set for First £111M Recycling and Waste-to-Energy Plant

United Kingdom (UK) Green Investment Bank plc (GIB), Foresight Group, and Zouk Capital LLP have announced equity investments in the construction of the £111 million Levenseat Renewable Energy Limited 12.3 MWe energy from waste (EfW) plant and adjacent Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at Forth by Lanark, Scotland. 03/23/2015

WELTEC BIOPOWER Builds 500-kW Biogas Plant for Vegetable Producer

In January 2015, WELTEC BIOPOWER has announced that it began building a 500-kW anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Loughgall, Northern Ireland for the vegetable producer Gilfresh Produce. 03/23/2015 

The Week's Action Item

Due 04/30/2015: Abstracts for Waste Conversion Technology Conference

The Waste Conversion Technology Association has issued a Call for Abstracts for the 8th Annual Waste Conversion Technology Conference & Trade Show (WCTC), scheduled for August 17-19, 2015 in San Diego, California. 03/24/2015

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