Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume VI, Issue 15, April 18, 2016
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

If we keep pouring water in a bucket, it may fill up. It depends, doesn't it? Maybe some critter will come along and lap up water from one side while you pour it in the other. Maybe it'll evaporate; maybe there's a hole in that bucket. But just maybe the bucket will fill up, and spill.

If we keep pouring separated items into the Recycling market, we had better hope something is going to happen to remove them faster than we add to the pile. We've made laws that demand we keep digging the recyclables out of our tsunami of trash; it just stands to reason that we have also created functional pathways for use of the stuff we collect. Nope, not so much.

We know two things from our meticulous attention to the flood of data regarding waste management trends. We should all implement recycling. It's a good thing to do, it makes us less trashy, and … it's the law. We also know that the global recycling market is down and appears likely to stay that way for awhile, although just why, or what we should do about the calamity, remains up for grabs. At this point and until we figure this mess out, we probably should stop trying to pour water into that full bucket. We can't, because (oh my) the only other alternative we have is to waste those resources! C'mon, really: is that the only alternative?

Waiting for someone else to come along and clean up our mess is a child's approach to the problem. One thing's certain: if we just ignore the ugly reality of less resources and more waste long enough, this all becomes a self-curing problem: we'll run out of key raw materials, and then we won't make new things that can be used and then thrown away.

A curious trend is slowly taking hold around the planet, based on something we've all known forever it seems: one person's trash is another's key raw materials. We are starting to put that basic idea into practice, moving stuff from one industry to another. Here and there, really smart (and particularly persistent) folks are linking public and private waste generation to local clean resource recovery and remanufacturing. From this, we learn that what we use in any one area somehow is reflected in what we throw away. And amazing as it seems, what someone needs in any one area is magically to be found in what someone else has thrown out as trash.

Most governments are very good at pushing 'proper waste management' forward with a legislated stick, demanding we keep finding more recyclates to add to the pile. Government is also very good at maintaining barriers to implementing environmentally sane, economical solutions. It is only right and proper: We the People have instructed our representative to do so. It is equally appropriate that we reverse this self-destructive trend, and start putting in local tools to convert local waste back into local raw materials. By all accounts, our recycling bucket is full.

Hey Rube!

There's been lots of activity in our agencies lately, mostly focused on Climate Change and how We the People can solve this global problem. Better resource management is certainly part of that solution, and California's air and waste agencies have scheduled key meetings and workshops addressing the challenges, and the tasks before us. CalRecycle will work on recycling and organics topics at this month's public meeting on April 19th; the Air Board steps up on the 26th. As California goes, so goes the planet (some say) so show up if you can, or at least tune into the agency's webcasts - take notes, and speak up.

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The Week's Top Story

CO2 Recovery Plant Starts Operation at Neste's Singapore Refinery

Finland based Neste Corporation has announced that the carbon dioxide (CO2) recovery and liquefaction plant built at Neste's renewable products refinery in Singapore has started commercial operation. 04/12/2016

The Week's News

CalRecycle Posts Recycling and Disposal Reporting Workshop Agenda

The California Department of Resources and Recycling (CalRecycle) has posted the agenda and presentation for the first Stakeholder Workshop on new recycling and disposal reporting requirements per Assembly Bill (AB) 901, previously announced in March. 04/16/2016

California Agencies Will Co-Host Workshop on Agricultural Sector Emissions

California's Department of Food and Agriculture, Natural Resources Agency, and Air Resources Board are jointly hosting a public workshop on the agriculture sector on April 27, 2016 from 10:00am to 1:00pm. 04/16/2016

DOE Announces FOA for Bioenergy, Bioproducts Facilities Development Plans

The US Department of Energy's (DOE)Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office, a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled "Project Definition for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower (PD2B3)". 04/15/2016

AGH Announces 2016 Pellet Stove Design Challenge Winners

The Alliance for Green Heat (AGH) has announced the winners of the 2016 Pellet Stove Design Challenge. 04/15/2016

Acme-Hardesty Is New Distributor for Green Biologics' Renewable Products

Acme-Hardesty and Green Biologics, Inc. have signed a two year distribution agreement to market and sell renewable n-butanol and acetone to the US market. 04/14/2016

WELTEC BIOPOWER Builds 2 New Agricultural Biogas Plants in UK

WELTEC BIOPOWER UK Ltd. has reported orders for two new agricultural biogas plant projects in England and Northern Ireland. 04/14/2016

PROBIO Energy Exports Scottish Refuse Derived Fuel to Scandinavia

Hartlepool based PROBIO Energy Limited has entered into a three-year contract with recovered materials recycling company Newport Paper Ltd to export 100,000 tonnes of baled Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) to Scandinavia. 04/13/2016

Xergi Delivers 3rd Biogas Plant to Danish Client, Introduces X-chopper to UK

Food waste and livestock manure are being transformed into biogas and green fertilizer at the biogas plant NGF Nature Energy Midtfyn, which was inaugurated on April 8, 2016. 04/13/2016

RSB Webinar on New Developments in Aviation Biofuel Production and Regs

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) has scheduled a webinar on April 28, 2016 at 7:00am PDT covering New Developments in Aviation Biofuel Production and Regulation. 04/12/2016

CARB Schedules Workshop on Draft Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released its Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy (SLCP Proposed Strategy) and the Draft Environmental Analysis (EA) for public review. 04/12/2016

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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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