Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume VI, Issue 9, February 29, 2016
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

This must be Leap Day, the once-every-four-years 29th of February. Let's make the most of it, shall we? Here's a short list of Circular Economy Leap Day Decrees:

This morning, let's check to see if we can use what we've got a little bit better and longer. And let's see if we can hand off what we don't want to someone who just might actually need that would-be discard. Cup of coffee in hand, let's walk around the palace halls and hang a tag on anything we haven't even thought to pick up in six months, much less even use. Look in the corners, under the bed, behind the coats in the closet.

Lunch time will be here soon, so we check the refrigerator for food that if left another few days will go green and fuzzy. Make soup, make a sandwich, make lunch outta those left-overs, and avoid running out to the local Grab-and-Gag for another burger. Heat 'em up and eat 'em up. Leftovers for Lunch: what a concept. Full and happy (burp), we can walk the perimeter grounds. Any food stuff that didn't make the lunch cut goes into the compost. More lost goods appear for tagging, in the garage corners and behind the workshed. More tagged items fall into the Useable but unwanted category, and get shuffled into the Charity box (probably boxes by now). We'll encounter more Reuse goodies than anticipated, so there goes the afternoon.

But there will always be Old Stuff that we won't eat, shouldn't compost, can't think of any way anyone else could use, and just generally is in the way. Into the Trash Bin it goes, right? But this is Leap Day, and with its special magic we get to see where that bin goes and what at least could happen next. The big trucks come and go, to dump their loads at the regional Materials Recovery Facility, our friendly local MRF. Most days, we would find a third of that old stuff gets pulled out and sold off to somewhere else as the Recyclables. Everything else would be Dumped and Buried, to fester to leak goo down and spew methane up. What a waste.

But this is Leap Day. Today every trash scrap has some sort of Waste Conversion kit just waiting to turn it back into something useful. Plastics not suitable for making new plastics go into that heater, and the fumes get sucked off to make fuels and chemicals. Paper with fibers too short to make new paper gets crunched and cubed; some gets sent to make heat and power, some gets dissolved into wood sugars and fermented into fuel. The cell phones, TVs and computers that can't be stripped down and rebuilt get ground up, separating glass, plastic and metal parts. And with pure Leap Day Magic, out that electronic waste comes a thimble-full of precious metal. We've turned trash to gold.

But wait: if we can do this on Leap Day, what's to stop us from doing this every day? Why are we still wasting the very resources we work so hard to acquire? As Walt Kelly's character Pogo informed us on Earth Day in 1971, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Hey Rube!

Reports are coming in from the wealth of this year's monster waste management and bioenergy conferences, and the message seems consistent. While petro fuel prices are being held so unnaturally low, turn waste and biomass into chemicals. Why work to sell an alt-fuel gallon for a buck, when you can sell a gram for $10?

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This Week's Extra Reading

US Chamber Foundation Issues Report on Circular Economy Business Value

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center has issued a new report detailing the value businesses can find in viewing waste as a resource and engaging in the circular economy. 02/22/2016

This Week's Top Story

DONG Energy Constructing Waste Conversion Bio-Plant in the UK

Denmark based DONG Energy will finance, build and operate the world's first bio-plant that uses enzymes to handle unsorted household waste without prior treatment. 02/23/2016

The Week's News

New Research Published on Efficient Production of Ethanol from Dairy Waste

A new research article on a new method for efficient production of ethanol has just been published in the online journal Biotechnology for Biofuels. 02/27/2016

GE Chosen to Build 100% Biomass-Fired 215MW Power Plant in Belgium

GE has announced its selection by Mechelen-based Belgian Eco Energy (BEE) to build the largest greenfield, 100 percent biomass-fired power plant in the world. 02/27/2016

Alliance BioEnergy Acquires Remaining Interest in AMG Energy Group

Florida based Alliance BioEnergy Plus, Inc has announced that its board approved a plan (the Merger Plan) on February 22, 2016 to merge privately held AMG Energy Solutions (Solutions) into wholly owned Company subsidiary AMG Renewables (Renewables), and to acquire all remaining outstanding ownership interest in AMG Energy Group (Group). 02/25/2016

Hawaii Sponsors New $6.8 Million Waste to Energy System Demonstration

The High Technology Development Corporation’s (HTDC) Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT) has sponsored a demonstration of a $6.8 million renewable and clean, waste to energy generating system. 02/25/2016

ElectraTherm ORC to Generate Clean Energy from Biomass in UK

Nevada based ElectraTherm has announced the shipment of its Power+ Generator 4400 to a chicken farm in the United Kingdom (UK), its second application in the country to utilize biomass to generate emission-free electricity. 02/24/2016

Scotland's Circular Economy Strategy has 33% Food Waste Reduction Target

The Scottish Government has announced the publication of Scotland’s first ever strategy aimed at helping move the country towards a more circular economy. 02/24/2016

American Chemical Society Launches New Journal - ACS Energy Letters

The American Chemical Society is launching a new peer-reviewed journal, ACS Energy Letters, that will focus on rapid communication of research from across the energy field, including energy capture, conversion, and storage. 02/23/2016

WELTEC Group Acquires 3.3MW Decommissioned Biogas Plant in Germany

WELTEC BIOPOWER has announced that its subsidiary Nordmethan GmbH purchased a decommissioned biogas plant in Falkenhagen, Brandenburg, Germany, last month. 02/22/2016

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Featured Events:
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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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