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Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 17, April 27, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Unless you go extra-terrestrial, every day should be Earth Day. The diversity of ways people expressed their love for their planet this past week has been simply amazing, sometimes rather silly, but more often heartening, encouraging outpourings of Care. Then - back to Business as Usual. Sorta like Christmas.

Of course, some concepts and their carry-through are simply stunning. Better management and less waste of resources is a general theme. Some larger corporations use this day to place a mark on the Cosmic (and Marketplace) board to show off their progress toward long range sustainability goals. One of the more impressive targets: managing massive enterprises for "zero-waste-to-landfill".

Companies are doing it. Cities are doing it. Even some People are doing it! But what does it really mean to not send any more trash to be entombed in some regional dead-resource repository? It means folks have to spend an enormous amount of time and effort to first study what they have been doing, then work to actually change many of those practices. No one solution works; it requires an across-the-board approach using every tool and trick available.

Cleaning and reusing one plastic container may seem more trouble than it's worth, but just how many times, over and over, can that same margarine tub serve first in the kitchen or the kid's play room, then in the garden, and finally in the garage? Sound silly? OK: Multiply that by the umpteen million people who buy margarine in a tub. Now start looking hard at all the other reusable containers that come into our homes, only to go out with the weekly trash.

Most cities have programs to pick the recyclable bottles, cans, newspaper and cardboard out of the collected garbage. But scrape up and recycle the organics in all the gooey, rotting food scraps being sent to the dump? There's a community-scale challenge to ponder - but this need not be attempted alone. Cities can chat up their counterparts among the boroughs of London who have already figured out very functional methods of food waste collection and conversion to energy, to fertilizer, and to fuel.

A multi-national company with tens if not hundreds of sites can also be seen as a community, with all those same resource management challenges and opportunities. When a company decides to achieve zero waste to landfill , it may need to employ everything from lunch-room monitors to demolition debris reclamation teams. Boxes and pallets get cleaned, repaired, and reused. Every scrap of sloppy organic residual has to find its way into animal feed, compost bins, or biomethane digesters.

When all the easy stuff has been put back into circulation, we have to deal with the messy, the downright difficult detritus. Put on the dust masks and dig in: stepping up to the challenge is how we can Celebrate Earth Day Every Day.

Hey Rube!

One inspiring news bit this week spotlighted a very familiar company (see below) who has now converted every one of their US factories to resource managers who send Zero Waste to Landfill. Raise a cup o' hot chocolate to Global Initiative!

This Week's Top Story

Biome Bioplastics Leads £3m Sustainable Chemicals Development Program

United Kingdom based Biome Bioplastics has begun a major development program to advance successful bio-based chemicals research through to industrial scale production. 4/22/2015

The Week's News

All US Nestle Factories Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill

Nestle USA has announced that all 23 of its factories are now landfill-free. The industry spans confections, dairy, frozen and refrigerated meals, ice cream, baking ingredients, and beverages. 04/23/2015

Battelle Team Passes Important DOE Biomass Pyrolysis Milestone

Ohio based Battelle Memorial Institute has announced its success in the US Department of Energy (DOE) challenge of making commercially viable transportation fuels from biomass pyrolysis. 04/23/2015

Valmet and Metsä Finalize Technology Order for Äänekoski Bioproduct Mill

Finnish company Valmet Corporation and Metsä Fibre have signed the agreement for supply of key technology to Metsä Fibre's new Äänekoski bioproduct mill in Finland. 04/22/2015

Detroit Zoo Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Zoo Poo to Bioenergy

The Detroit Zoological Society has begun raising funds toward installing an anaerobic digester at the Detroit Zoo to convert about 400 tons per year of animal manure into biomethane. 04/21/2015

Blue Sphere Forms JV for 3.2 MW Biogas Generation Facility in Rhode Island

Israel based Blue Sphere Corporation has announced the closing of a Joint Venture (JV) with an affiliate of York Capital Management to develop, construct, and operate a 3.2 MW biogas generation facility in Johnston, Rhode Island (Project) under the management of Entropy Investment Management. 04/21/2015

UC Davis ITS Releases April 2015 Status Review of California's LCFS

University of California Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) has released the April 2015 Status Review of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS is a key element of California's greenhouse gas reduction strategy. 04/21/2015

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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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