Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume VI, Issue 5, February 1, 2016 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Look around: too much stuff! We stack up goods in closets, basements, spare bedrooms. Pile things in the garage, out-back workshops, and then rent storage when everything else fills up. Our kids might want an heirloom or two - but the rest? Eventually, it's likely to get dumped.

How do we end up throwing away so much? Well, we keep buying more stuff. And why do we keep buying new things? Oh, yes: the paint was chipped; the pants were too small; the ashtray was full … so things get set aside, and sooner or later, are trundled off to the dump. Yes, we can pick through our own trash for cans and bottles, but more often we're just happy to see it Go Away for someone else to sort. Boy, don't we do a bang-up job of Recycling! Of over 250 million tons of trash trashed in the US in 2014, we only recycled about one third.

Fortunately, old things unwanted by us can be New to someone else. With the Internet, we can hand off something we're done using, and those materials will go around the Circular Economy one more time. If something is still usable, there's probably someone out there that can use what you would otherwise throw away. The ReUse part of the waste management cycle is on the rise, what with on-line shopping and rapid-fire shipping. Even if you don't make much money selling your old things, you can save on dump fees. If this trend to Pay as You Throw really catches on, we'll find something, anything to do with our old stuff, except pay more and more to dump it.

Transfer of goods and services via internet enabled marketing is growing fast, becoming more diverse and encompassing more and more 'commerce', the global process of buying and selling stuff. If something is easily identifiable, relatively shippable, and has moderate 'cute' value, it'll sell. But this also works well for Repurposing: much of our old stuff can be put to some secondary use. Worn out basketball court flooring becomes really cool bar counters. Car wash brushes become big scratching posts for rhinos at the zoo. Empty steel tanks make great BBQs. If you need something, search the internet for used goods first; someone somewhere has probably posted just that thing for sale. Welcome to the world of the global on-line marketplace.

What's this got to do with Waste Conversion, you might ask? We Waste Conversion types, we're bottom-feeders. If something can be reused, that takes priority. But sooner or later, everything wears out. That's when Waste Conversion comes into play. Waste conversion is our back-up play: pull those worn out goods apart to their foundation materials, clean-to-spec, and then send the reclaimed resources off to be remanufactured.

We are fast approaching a time when what we now call Waste will universally be recognized as valuable resources. Already, many goods come with a pre-printed label so that when worn out they can be shipped back to their makers to be torn apart and remanufactured. And waste conversion bottom-feeders can use the internet too: maybe on-line drone scheduling for home pick up really IS the best way to deliver food waste to your friendly local anaerobic digester.

Hey Rube!

Often at first glance, government programs don't appear well suited to advance this industrial sub-sector of clean waste conversion. Perhaps that is simply because nobody asked the agency to consider that angle. Take the time to respond, shining a bright light on the importance of this crucial element to implementation of the Circular Economy.

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This Week's Extra Reading

California Compost Coalition Submits Biomethane White Paper to CEC, CARB

The California Compost Coalition has submitted a detailed proposal to the California Energy Commission (CEC) to support new funding of $25 million 01/29/2016

This Week's Top Story

PLUSfoam Secures Investment to Build US Manufacturing Facilities

California-based PLUSfoam® Compound Technologies, LLC has announced a strategic partnership with Acorn Innovestments and the Noël Group, investors and operators based in North Carolina. 01/26/2016

The Week's News

US EPA Schedules Workshop on Role of Biomass in Clean Power Plan Goals

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced an all-day stakeholder workshop scheduled for April 7, 2016 on 'Fostering Constructive Dialogue on the Role of Biomass in Achieving Clean Power Plan Goals'. 01/30/2016

eBay Joins the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 Program

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has announced that the global online marketplace eBay has become a corporate member of its Circular Economy 100 (CE100) program. 01/30/2016

EC Releases Report on EU's Separate Waste Stream Collection Schemes

The European Commission (EC) has released the report 'Assessment of separate collection schemes in the 28 capitals of the EU' that was completed under contract in November 2015 by the Copenhagen Resource Institute (CRI). 01/29/2016

GTC Expands to Become Gasification and Syngas Technologies Council

The Gasification Technologies Council (GTC) has announced that it is expanding to become the Gasification and Syngas Technologies Council (GSTC) and will now encompass the syngas production, processing, and conversion industries as well as gasification. 01/28/2016

US DOE Invests $2.85M in Clean Energy Projects at Federal Facilities

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $2.85 million in funding for four projects that will advance the development of renewable energy technologies at facilities across the federal government. 01/28/2016

Biffa Boosts Food Waste Conversion Capability with Major Investment

Waste services provider, Biffa, is creating a network of strategic food waste transfer stations across the United Kingdom (UK), and has announced a £1.5m investment into four new food waste transfer stations. 01/28/2016

Ecoalf's Upcycle the Oceans Project Spins Textiles from Waste Plastic

Spanish clothing manufacturer Ecoalf Recycled Fabrics, S.L. was established in 2009 with the intent of showing that recycling can actually turn a profit. 01/27/2016

BioHiTech Installs Eco-Safe Digesters in 10 Golden Corral Florida Restaurants

BioHiTech Global, Inc has announced that its subsidiary, BioHiTech America, has begun installing its innovative commercial food waste disposal solution in Golden Corral restaurants in 10 franchised locations throughout Florida. 01/27/2016

Trestle Energy Wins CARB Approval for New Low Carbon Biofuel Pathway

California-based Trestle Energy LLC has received approval from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its innovative method of producing ethanol using agricultural residues, resulting in a new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) biofuels production pathway (Pathway Code: ETHC116). 01/27/2016

B&W Awarded $90M Contract For UK Waste-to-Energy Power Plant

North Carolina company Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc (B&W) has announced that its Denmark-based subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S, has been awarded a contract for more than $90 million to design, manufacture, and build a waste-to-energy power plant near Haresfield, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (UK). 01/27/2016

ExxonMobil and REG Partner to Research Biodiesel From Cellulosic Sugars

ExxonMobil has announced an agreement with Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) to study the production of biodiesel by fermenting renewable cellulosic sugars from sources such as agricultural waste. 01/26/2016

The Week's Action Items

Due 02/10/2016: Comments to CEC on Fuel and Vehicle Technology Solicitation

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a Request for Information (RFI), seeking public comment to assist in development of a grant solicitation focused on Regional Readiness and Planning to draw upon the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). Note: Teru encourages the waste conversion sector to respond, bringing to light the importance of low- and negative-carbon distributed alternative fuels production to ARFVTP targets. 01/26/2016

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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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