Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 35, August 31, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Let’s consider another of those wonderful global catch-phrases: the concept of Zero Waste.

C’mon, we’re Humans, and one of the things we do is Waste. Wasting things is a species trait, one the species is not about to stop doing any time soon. With 40,000 tons a day of trash being generated in our great metropoli, indications are that as long as there is Input there will be Output. The question then is, what should we do about it? Well, everything we can, obviously.

The first puzzle piece is always Education. We have to keep reminding everyone around us (and ourselves included) that things we don't want anymore are not inherently Waste, just Old Resources. But to actually change behavior (and here’s another buzz word) we must Empower folks: we all need to know what to do, that we can do what’s needed, and that what we do matters. A recent national survey found about half of us didn’t understand Recycling: we don’t mind doing it, but we really couldn’t say what happens next. Resource recovery is too complex; we mostly just want our trash to Go Away.

That problem calls for programs fit to community habits and structure, transparent programs that show the bad with the good and where we all need to be headed. We can’t just say we want Zero Waste like it actually meant something; the public needs proof, or all that agencies can expect to get in return is "Yeah, right." The community needs to bear witness to what happens when we Waste, and see local examples of the path toward Resource Recovery. What! There are no “local examples”? Ah – that’s a far bigger problem: very limited local infrastructure.

Waste-to-dump infrastructure is in place in most developed areas. Community resource recovery is generally limited to Collect-Sort-Sell, not a message that encourages engagement. The only benefit folks can see is their trash going away, with a little money funneled back to a few companies and the agencies that permit them. That’s old Policy: make the Nasty Trash go away. So now we need New Policy: Keep the Local Resources local. See any problem with that?

Anyone remember when Paper Recycling started? Communities ended up with huge, molding piles of used newspaper, with no way to even move them except to pay for disposal. Few communities incorporate diverse local remanufacturing; in fact, most plants that make new stuff from the raw resources reclaimed from old stuff have always been relegated to “way over there”, out of sight and mind, out of the community of origin and most often out of country. So add to that Zero Waste Path the need to build clean, community-centric remanufacturing complexes.

What kind of remanufacturing plants can best close the gap in a community’s Zero Waste Path to resource recovery? Well, we need to understand two key factors: what’s in the old stuff that the community tosses, and what sort of new goods the community needs. Study the natural flow of commerce, and fill in the missing elements: each Community’s characteristic unwanted Old Resource Output is very closely related to its desired New Resource Input.

Hey Rube!

Teru’s gonna speak on this Zero Waste stuff at the 2015 SCWMF Waste Management Conference in November. It's a simple seeming concept, this business of Zero Waste, but terribly challenging to implement. Let’s all chew on this idea for awhile.  

This Week's Top Story

PHGE Is Contracted Build Waste-To-Energy Facility in East Tennessee

Sevier Solid Waste, Inc (SSWI) of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has contracted with PHG Energy (PHGE) to build a $2.25 million biomass gasification plant capable of cleanly converting more than 30 tons of composted material daily into thermal energy while producing a valuable high-carbon biochar. 08/28/2015

The Week's News

Ensyn Receives Key US EPA Regulatory Approval for its Renewable Diesel

Ensyn Corporation (Ensyn), has announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted Ensyn a key regulatory approval for its renewable diesel product, RFDiesel. 08/28/2015

US DOE Awards $9M to Improve Feedstock Supplies for Bioenergy Facilities

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the award of up to $9 million for the design of sustainable bioenergy systems that maintain or enhance the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of cellulosic bioenergy through the improvement of feedstock production, logistics systems, and technology development. 08/27/2015

Biomass Projects Qualify for Ontario IESO's Large Renewable Procurement

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) of Ontario, Canada has released the list of renewable energy projects proposed by companies pre-qualified to participate in the Large Renewable Procurement (LRP). 08/27/2015

Noble Purification Schedules Launch of Euglena Bio-Filtration Pilot Plant

The Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster (GPIC) has announced that the grand opening of the Noble Purification Inc. bio-filtration plant in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, will be on Tuesday, September 01, 2015. 08/26/2015      

Webinar on Wood Pellet Production in US Through Co-Firing Industrial Pellets

World Bio Markets is hosting a free webinar to share insight and knowledge around the topic of “Capitalising on lessons learnt from Europe and exploring the long term potential for wood pellet production in the USA through co-firing industrial pellets.” 08/26/2015

Australian Researchers Find that Grape Waste Could Make Competitive Biofuel

University of Adelaide researchers have found that solid waste left over from wine-making could make a competitive biofuel. 08/24/2015

DECC Releases Guidance for 400MW Cap on New Dedicated Biomass Projects

United Kingdom's Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has introduced a cap of 400MW on the total new build dedicated biomass capacity in England and Wales that can expect grandfathered support under the Renewables Obligation (RO). 08/24/2015

Global Bioenergies' Isobutene Process Successfully Uses Wood Sugar

French company Global Bioenergies has announced that it has produced isobutene by fermentation based exclusively on xylose (wood sugar) as a feedstock. 08/24/2015

New Zealand WWTP Installs Biological Sulfur Removal, Increases Capacity

Oregon based Clean Methane Systems LLC (CMS) has announced its selection to supply the biogas conditioning system for the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant's (WWTP) new biological sulfur removal system and upgrade of its biogas to electricity output to 1,200kW. 08/24/2015

The Week's Action Items

Due 09/11/2015: Suggestions for CalRecycle 2016 Disposal, Recycling Reports

In its last monthly meeting, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) solicited public suggestions for new topics to be added to the 2016 State of Disposal and State of Recycling in California reports currently under development. 08/27/2015

Due 10/19/2015: LOIs from Potential Tenants for Austin [re]Manufacturing Hub

The City of Austin, Texas has set a goal to reach zero waste by 2040 and already has a robust collection and sorting infrastructure for recycling with three single-stream Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in the region, an above-average diversion rate, and new regulations requiring businesses and apartment complexes to recycle. 08/27/2015

Due 10/23/2015: Public Comment to DECC's Proposed Feed-in Tariff Plans

The United Kingdom's (UK) Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) is seeking public comment and has released a report detailing the opening of public consultation on its proposed Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme. 08/28/2015

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Featured Events:

 6th Biomass Pellets Trade & Power, Sep 14-16, 2015, Seoul 

 2015 SCWMF Waste Management Conference, November 18, 2015, Pomona, California



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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