Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 25, June 22, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

We act like it is a natural right to have somebody come along and pick up after us. To collect our detritus, trundle it off to Somewhere Else where we , certainly, don’t have to think about it. At least, not until the next time that big noisy trash truck happens to be late.

Society has in general, been willing to fork over a few shekels to make sure the garbage goes away. Where there’s not much money, there is understandably not as much community infrastructure to get that nasty job done. In less developed areas, everyone’s waste tends to get dumped, uh, over there somewhere, and probably burnt periodically. In more civilized communities we still want it to go away, but then we make fussy, costly, and often technical impossible laws so we need not worry about bothersome inconveniences. Get real, people.

It takes work to get these necessary jobs done, and if you aren’t the one handling the shovel, you get to pay the folks who are. There is no free … garbage. And now instead of just making it go away, we’re arguing for the great idea of Zero Waste. Not that we’ll ever stop using things and then throwing them aside; the idea instead is that once we are communally done with things, someone should not only collect our trash but also separate all the goodies from the goo. Somehow, we need to figure out how to return the myriad raw materials back into the circular flow toward becoming new goods, and we need to find new ways to pay for the needed work.

Here’s a shocker: just like trash collection, now we know that recycling and resource recovery aren’t free either. And once again, if you aren’t the bloke sorting all that trash into useful smaller piles, you get to pay that brave soul to muck about in your leavings. Maybe if you do more to manage the front end, the back end of that processing won’t be as expensive. So-called source-segregation is where we separate our own garbage into “recyclable” components. Yeah, that helps a little, but according to my mother, everything should be recyclable, so what goes into which bin?

100% recycling means we turn all of our discards back into the basic building-block materials needed for remanufacturing. Track all the stuff and attend to the balance sheets. The folks making the mess are the ones paying for the clean-up and recovery, and the Jobs and Goods get returned to the same folks who started the process. The long-standing concept of a “waste shed” says that managing waste can and should occur where the crud has been generated, extending local management to its logical conclusion.

The cycle of material goods from use to waste and back to goods again is an economic cycle; our money is what primes that pump and keeps it circulating. Resource recovery is (you guessed it) the engine that turns the wheel, and closes the gap in the Circular Economy.

Hey Rube!

Corporate Responsibility, or CR, is the New Green. Large corporations are cities unto themselves. Just as our cities that better manage their “waste shed” tend to become more attractive (and lucrative) places to live, these corporate cities are learning that they can actually improve their economic balance sheets, bettering the bottom line, by investing in being better Citizens of the Planet. Three Circular Economy keys to CR are emerging that “incorporate” less abuse, and more efficient use and reuse of Water, Waste, and Energy. A bit of a tedious read, perhaps, but take note: resource sanity is good for the planet – and is also good business.

This Week's Extra Reading

TERU's newest Focus Report on Competitive Waste Markets and the Circular Economy presents another EU Op Ed discussing the importance of free and fair competition.


You might also check out the new book by Paul Relis, Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier .  

This Week's Top Story

Bio-on Technology Makes Bio-Plastics from Biodiesel Production By-Products

Italian company Bio-on S.p.A. has announced completion of another phase in the development of the technology for making polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from glycerol and is ready to grant licenses for this new technology. 06/17/2015

The Week's News

EPA Releases 2013 Sustainable Materials Facts and Figures Report

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced publication of the "Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013" Report, which is released every two years. 06/18/2015

CARB Schedules Public Symposium on 50% Petroleum Use Reduction Goal

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has scheduled a public symposium for July 8, 2015 from 9:00am to 1:30pm to discuss reduction of petroleum-sourced transportation fuels by 50%, by 2030. 06/18/2015

Genomatica Advances the Commercial Readiness of Biomass for Chemicals

California based Genomatica, Inc has announced significant progress in harnessing cellulosic biomass for commercial production of high-quality chemicals rather than just fuels. 06/17/2015

Veolia Is Appointed Operator Of Ireland's Largest Biomass Power Plant

Veolia has announced that its subsidiary in Ireland, Veolia Energy Services, has been awarded a EUR 450 million-contract over 15 years by Mayo Renewable Power to operate a biomass power plant in Killala, Co. Mayo, in Ireland. 06/16/2015

Smurfit Kappa Sustainability Report Highlights Zero Waste to Landfill Progress

Multinational paper milling company Smurfit Kappa has released its Corporate Sustainability Report for 2014, highlighting that last year, 12 of its 38 global paper mills reached zero waste to landfill. 06/16/2015

Andritz to Supply Drying Equipment for California Biosolids Recovery Plant Headquartered in Austria, the Andritz technology group has announced selection of its advanced paddle dryer technology for installation at the KORE Infrastructure biosolids-to-biofuels development in the City of Rialto, Riverside County, California. 06/16/2015

Shanks Launches New CR Targets Focused on Waste-to-Product Vision

Shanks Group plc has launched an ambitious set of five year Corporate Responsibility (CR) targets for 2015-2010 that support the Group’s clear plans to deliver its waste-to-product vision. 06/15/2015

The Week's Action Items

Due 09/04/2015: Comments to EC on Functioning of EU Waste Markets

The European Commission (EC) has opened a consultation to obtain a better understanding of the nature and the extent of regulatory failures causing undue distortions to European Union (EU) waste markets for recycling and recovery. 06/15/2015

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Recommended Reading:

Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier by Paul Relis  
Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier by Paul Relis


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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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