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Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 48, December 7, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

We can recycle now in as many ways as there are kinds of things in trash. We can turn like-to-like, as making old bottles back into new bottles. We can recycle parts of old things into being parts of new things. And we can take materials apart right down to their molecules, then reconstitute and remanufacture those miniscule molecules back into commodities. That's called Molecular Recycling, an all-important stage of maintaining the circular flow from Old Stuff back into New Stuff.

But sometimes even molecular recycling isn't appropriate. There's a puncture proof Sharps container in every hospital emergency room, and each has a notice on it that says very clearly, For Incineration Only. When seeing what goes into those containers, we can all agree that the stuff really shouldn't be recycled. We want that crud to be 'rendered to ash'; incineration is in this specific case highly appropriate. Even so, the metals can be sifted out of the residual and the heat generated can be used to help lower the cost of the hospital's hot water and steam supply if their system is sophisticated enough.

OK, so we've established that in some cases, incineration is desirable, and can technologically and environmentally be the best solution to an on-going challenge. European countries depend on this approach as a key element in overarching waste management schemes and see materials recycling as improved economically where the non-recyclable fractions can still be converted to heat, power, and lower volumes of ash.

Can this approach be abused? Sure: there are Humans involved. It's hard to justify importing another country's garbage to feed your big burner even though you really need the heat and power it produces. That is no way to run a materials recovery program, and disposal remains a dead-end off-ramp for the Circular Economy.

It isn't the tool, it's the worker. Our communities, and our global health, would be in tough shape if hospitals couldn't use the proper thermal waste conversion tools to ensure pathogen kill via incineration of needles and blood in medical waste. Yet we're running out of crucial raw materials and molecular recovery must be sensibly incorporated into our game plan.

As technology improves, devices get more efficient. Like communications, our waste management and resource recovery capabilities are now finding purchase at smaller and smaller scales to move from the governmental to the industrial arenas, on down into our medium and small business enterprises and finally micro-scale for community and residential application. Eco-friendly thermal waste conversion systems scaled for your home and business will become as commonplace as toilets. Resource recovery is just as valid at home scale as in the industrial workplace, and must include the entire range of tools and techniques.

Hey Rube!

There is a ground-level shift in standards, to track everything from source to end use and beyond. You can't manage what you don't count, and that certainly applies when we recover and put back into productive use a gazillion tons of biomass. If you want to return organics to the soil, just remember please that what goes into the dirt comes up in the lettuce.

This Week's Extra Reading

After retiring from talking trash and doing garbage for 30 years, Marty Strauss wrote a story about a young dragon living in a canyon that has been turned into a landfill by the nearby community. "CHAGALL: The Recycling Dragon" has been shared with teachers who liked the story message about recycling, and the interaction with the students talking about what Chagall can do to keep his home.  

This Week's Top Story

CHO Power Achieves FAR Status for Waste to Power Plant in Morcenx

The French company Europlasma has announced that its subsidiary CHO Power has reached Final Acceptance with Reserves (FAR) status for its advanced gasification waste to power facility in Morcenx. 12/01/2015

The Week's News

Boeing, Canadian Aviation Industry Launch Sustainable Biofuel Project

Boeing, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and SkyNRG, with support from Canada's aviation industry and other stakeholders, are collaborating to turn leftover branches, sawdust and other forest-industry waste into sustainable aviation biofuel. 12/04/2015

CEFC Commits $100M to New Australian Bioenergy Fund

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is aiming to accelerate investment in Australia’s bioenergy sector through a $100 million cornerstone commitment to the new Australian Bioenergy Fund. 12/04/2015

SEaB Energy Receives EU Funding to Boost Expansion into New Markets

United Kingdom (UK) based SEaB Energy Limited has received European Union (EU) funding that will help it accelerate the adoption of its innovative, waste-to-energy technology across Europe and international markets. 12/04/2015

California Will Host Sessions on New US Food Safety Modernization Act

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will host informational sessions on the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Final Rules for Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Animal Food. 12/03/2015

ElectraTherm's Waste Heat Technology Will Use Biomass for CHP in UK

Nevada based ElectraTherm, Inc has announced shipment of the first Power+ Generator 6500 (up to 110kW electrical output) to a garden centre in the United Kingdom (UK). 12/02/2015

Green Biologics' Commercial Bio-Chemical Plant in US is Under Construction

United Kingdom (UK) company Green Biologics, Ltd (GBL) has announced the start of construction on its 100% renewable bio-based n-butanol and acetone commercial plant in Little Falls, Minnesota. 12/02/2015

HomeBiogas Launches IndiGoGo Campaign to Fund Home Digester

Israeli company HomeBiogas has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $100,000 in partnership with Tross Creative House to advance production of its HomeBiogas® biogas systems that turn organic waste to clean biogas for cooking, and to liquid natural fertilizer for the garden. 12/01/2015

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Recommended Reading:

 CHAGALL: The Recycling Dragon
CHAGALL: The Recycling Dragon
by Marty Strauss

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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