Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 26, June 29, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

We define our Communities by how we are living in them. Oh, we draw boundaries and name towns, cities, counties – but those boundaries usually don’t align with how we work and live within the landscape, and how we interact with each other. One way to look at community structure is by picking a topic and watching its local function. Efficient, easy to live in communities have infrastructures that are well matched to the actual functioning of its residents. Haphazard city layouts make getting across town a pain, finding a local market difficult, and getting to a hospital in time, nearly impossible. Then there’s resource efficiency.

Think about water: rain falls on the land, runs toward the low areas and then outward, via gullies and streams. We call these areas watersheds , and communities with well draining watersheds flood less, and generally function better.  When we're talking trash (no pun intended), we speak of wastesheds . In an efficient community, all the trash generated gets collected, trundled toward pick-apart centers. Most then goes to the local dump, some goes further toward markets for recycled goods. Well thought out and equipped communities make this task less onerous, less costly. Lack of appropriate infrastructure means long hauls, more cost, and more disposal than recovery.

Sanitation has to come first: most communities have some centralized place where all the rotting nasty stuff goes in a hole and gets covered over, or maybe put in a big burner and reduced to ash. Building regional landfills and incinerators generally replaced burn barrels and made living in our communities safer and cleaner. But that one way flow costs money and more over, costs resources. We’ve been paying the piper so long we just count is as community dues.

Past community disasters and successes can teach us to rethink and rebuild what we are doing today, and to peer forward to where we need to be. We know now that we really, really must stop disposing of perfectly good used resources only to go get new resources. But why is this process of recycling so difficult and costly? Follow the Money. We build in the means for disposal, but we send out for the means of reprocessing. Everything has to travel further to be remade than to be thrown away, and every mile costs in many ways. The jobs for hauling and dumping are local, but what about the jobs for turning discards back to foundation resources, and on to remanufactured goods? Those jobs happen in someone else’s community, quite often someone else’s country.

And no, it's NOT OK to throw a fit and stop that resource recovery here, only to have that burden and its solution happen elsewhere. We’ve got one planet, folks, and collateral damage elsewhere is still avoidable damage. We made this mess; we need to clean it up, and make things better.

We need to bring it all back home, back local, back regional. Reprocessing infrastructure isn’t going to be cheap either. We must accept the local economic, social, and environmental cost of remaking our "wastesheds" into cyclic machines capable of managing resource recovery as efficiently as we have learned to manage disposal. A community's waste should be that same community's problem to solve, and can be that same community's golden resource to recover.

Hey Rube!

It used to be easy to avoid the problem and claim "we don't have the technology." That old excuse just doesn't hold water anymore. Check this week's news for new tools and methods.

This Week's Top Story

Mixed Waste Processing May Increase Recycling and MSW Diversion Rates 

The American Chemistry Council has announced a new report that looks at processing mixed waste to extract recyclables finds potential to significantly increase recycling rates of certain materials and diversion rates of municipal solid waste (MSW) in general. 06/25/2015

The Week's News

Suez Environnement Inaugurates New Organic Reuse Centre In France

Paris based SUEZ environnement has announced the inauguration of a new organic reuse centre that features a methanation unit developed entirely by the Group. The startup of this new unit in Faulquemont, 40km from the city of Metz, France, represents a concrete step forwards in the energy transition of the region. 06/26/2015

Bullfrog Power Launches Green Transportation Fuel

Canadian company Bullfrog Power® has announced the launch of green fuel, a new solution to help advance the shift to a more renewably powered transportation system. 06/26/2015

CEC Proposes Awards for Early and Pre-Commercial Biofuels Development   

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Awards for Grant Solicitation PON-14-602, Biofuels Early and Pre-Commercial Technology Development, released in October 2014. 06/25/2015

Berkeley Lab Validates Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology 

Microvi Biotechnologies has demonstrated breakthrough improvements to biological ethanol production while working with the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). 06/25/2015

Alphabet Energy's Modular PowerModule™ Converts Waste Heat to Power 

California based Alphabet Energy, Inc has announced the PowerModule™ as a standalone product that can convert almost any industrial source of exhaust heat into valuable electricity. 06/24/2015

DOE to Issue Funding Opportunity for Innovative Bioenergy Technologies 

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced its intent to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), funding opportunity announcement (FOA) targeting innovative technologies and solutions to help advance bioenergy development. 06/24/2015

GIB Invests £2m in SHARC Sewage Heat Recovery Projects Across Scotland 

Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced that the Equitix-managed fund Energy Savings Investments (ESI) is investing £2m in a sewage heat recovery system installation program in locations across Scotland, beginning with Borders College. 06/24/2015

Valmet Supplies Automation to New Waste-To-Energy Plant in Worcestershire 

Finland company Valmet Corporation will supply automation to the new EnviRecover waste-to-energy plant in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, United Kingdom (UK). The delivery will take place in November 2015, and the system will be handed over to the customer in November 2016. 06/24/2015

Tennessee Awards $250K Grant for PHGE's Waste Gasification Plant 

Nashville based PHG Energy (PHGE) has announced that a $250,000 grant of matching funds has been awarded to The City of Lebanon to assist with construction of a new waste-to-energy facility that will reduce landfill usage and provide clean electrical power. 06/23/2015

CRI Licenses IH2 Technology to SynSel for Norwegian Biomass to Fuel Demo  

Norway company SynSel Energi AS, a member of SynSel Energy Inc (SynSel), has entered into an IH2® process demonstration license agreement with United Kingdom based CRI/Criterion Catalyst Company Ltd, a member of the CRI Catalyst group. 06/23/2015

Viridor Energy-from-Waste Residue Will Become Carbon8 Building Blocks 

Viridor announced that it has signed a ten-year contract with Carbon8 Aggregates Ltd for the removal, treatment, and recycling of Air Pollution Control residue (APCr) from Viridor's Energy Recovery Facilities (ERFs) in Exeter, Cardiff, Ardley and Peterborough. 06/22/2015

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Featured Events:
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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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