BioCycle December 2004, Vol. 45, No. 12, p. 12
BIOSOLIDS COMPOST FOR “PRESIDENTIAL PARK” AT WHITE HOUSE
Approximately 1,500 cu yds of biosolids compost from Baltimore’s municipal facility have been used for the conversion of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House next to Lafayette Park into a pedestrian park. With the removal of this section of Pennsylvania Avenue, the north lawn of the White House becomes a contiguous planted area with that of Lafayette Park. The sales process for Orgro began in November of last year, when the Federal Highway Administration contacted the U.S. Composting Council for producers meeting STA testing standards. Selection criteria for compost included meeting performance specifications, product availability and consistency. Construction project is expected to be completed after the presidential inauguration.
ORGANICS PILOT IS RATED A SUCCESS AS PROJECT BEGINS SECOND PHASE
Assisted by a grant from Hennepin County’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Unit (WRRU), the city of Wayzata last year started an organics recycling project that got residents to separate compostables from trash After 15 months, John Jimez of WRRU calls the composting program an “impressive success” due mainly to the high participation rate. Statistics cited indicate the following: 25 percent of household waste consist of food scraps and nonrecyclable paper; 50 percent of Wayzata residents currently participate in the organics recycling program; 8.5 tons of organics are collected monthly. Residents have also kept enough contamination out of the organics they set out for pick-up.
After phase one, Wayzata officials asked the county for another grant to find ways to reduce project cost and reduce contamination further. As reported in an early November issue of the Wayzata Sun Sailor, NRG Processing Solutions is the company that composts Hennepin County organics at its Empire Township plant near Rosemount. An unexpected result of the project showed much paper is not being recycled, according to Jimez.
A second phase goal will focus on increasing the amount of paper that is recycled and/or composted. City officials also anticipate that the cost of tipping source-separated loads at the transfer station will be reduced even further from the original nine percent reduction. Writes the newspaper: “It is no small feat to reach the 1,252 households in Wayzata, but it helps that residents seem to be excited.”
Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
MULTIPLE PROJECTS EARN CITY EXCELLENCE AWARD FROM RECYCLING COUNCIL
The waste production program in the town of Okotoks includes a compost site, full-service recycling center as well as satellite drop-off station where residents have 24-hour access. The community compost center collects grass clippings, leaves plus pumpkins and Christmas trees. Over 800 metric tons of yard trimmings are collected annually along with one ton of pumpkins and 2,000 Christmas trees. The composting program has reduced the organics fraction of the waste stream by 80 percent. The many faceted program in Okotoks serves as a model for many small communities across Alberta and is a clear reason why the town won the Municipal Program Award for Excellence given by the Recycling Council of Alberta at its Fall Conference in Jasper.
West Hartford, Connecticut
BUILDING MATERIALS REUSE STORE OPENS MORE DOORS FOR RECYCLING
The ReCONNstruction Center – founded by John Powers and colleagues in 2003 – functions similarly to a Salvation Army thrift shop, except instead of clothing and household goods, the Center receives donations of usable building materials. Materials are inventoried, priced and displayed at the store; donors receive a receipt with descriptions of donated materials. The ReCONNstruction center recently won Ford Motor Company’s “Best Business Plan Contest.” The Center’s website is reconstructioncenter.org. Says John Powers: “The website is the door to more future success; Let’s continue to open more doors and invite all of Connecticut to help Reuse!”
GOVERNOR’S SUSTAINABILITY AWARD GOES TO UNIVERSITY FOR BIODIESEL/COMPOST USE
Seattle University (SU) earned the 2004 Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainability for minimizing waste and conserving resources. The Award notes that the University grounds are maintained 100 percent organically; biodiesel is used at the on-site compost facility; and SU employs measures to prevent storm water pollution. “Water and energy conservation , waste reduction and recycling were noted as top priorities at the University,” says the announcement.
Sanford, North Carolina
UPDATE REPORT REVIEWS TONNAGE FIGURES FOR YARD WASTE COMPOSTING FACILITY
In 1992, reports the latest newsletter of the Carolinas Composting Council, “this quiet Southern town’s population of 25,000″ received a state permit to construct a yard waste compost facility near its Municipal Center. Since that time, Sanford has generated about 7,500 cubic yards of leaf compost annually. Incoming yard trimmings are ground twice a year by a contract grinder, and chicken litter is added to decrease C:N ratio at roughly a three percent rate (by volume). Residence time in the windrows is about six months; temperatures during active composting average 135°F and are monitored weekly. Screened product is stored for several months, “allowing full maturity of the final product.” Product testing includes a North Carolina Department of Agriculture Waste Analysis Report and a fecal coliform test.
Screened compost prices vary from $20/load for pickup trucks to $40/loader bucket for more than three cubic yards. The solid waste crews deliver compost to purchasers in an eight cubic yard Ford F-7000 for a delivery fee of $35 for in-city residents. Out-of-city buyers pay $60. Concludes the Carolinas Composting Council account: “Sanford’s yard trimmings compost facility enters its second decade of operations with an experienced team, good production practices and loyal customers.”
San Diego, California
CITY DEVELOPS PROGRAM TO HELP C&D COMPANIES RECYCLE DEBRIS
A report in the San Diego Union-Tribune says that excess C&D material has tripled in the last 10 years, now comprising 35 percent of what goes into a city-run landfill. Though state regulations 15 years ago set a 50 percent recycling level for cities, San Diego does not meet those requirements and could face daily fines, notes the Union-Tribune.
The city – faced with rapid development – has approached many groups about changing the amount of C&D material sent to landfills, including branches of the U.S. military. The Navy has been one of the city’s success stories, according to the paper. It now mandates building and demolition crews to file a waste management plan before work begins, requiring companies to consider recycling before the project starts.
ELECTRIC UTILITY IN CANADA TRADES EMISSION CREDITS AS PART OF METHANE GAS USE
As reported in the Toronto Star last month, the TransAlta Corp. has become the first Canadian company to trade in the emerging market of carbon credits. Canada’s largest private electrical utility has signed with a pork producer of Chile – Agrosuper – to buy credits generated by the utilization of methane gas from hog manure. It is believed to be the world’s largest transaction under the Kyoto Protocol, representing a four million metric ton reduction of carbon dioxide over ten years, according to the Star. The plan was arranged under Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – a market-based mechanism to encourage commercial investment in sustainable development projects in developing countries that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Jefferson City, Missouri
2005 RECYCLING GRANTS REACH OUT FOR ORGANIC RESIDUALS, ELECTRONICS AND MORE
In its latest newsletter, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announces that it is accepting applications for grants to advance the goals of waste reduction, recycling and energy recovery. In 2003 – by reuse, recycling and composting – Missouri diverted 45 percent of its waste from landfills. For 2005, DNR will award $1.5 million for innovative projects in Electronics Reuse, Organic Waste, Major Appliance Recycling, Innovative Targets and Recycling Centers. For application details, visit DNR’s website (www.dnr.mo.gov) or call the Solid Waste Management Program at (800) 361-4827.
The description of the “Organic Waste” grant says the objectives are: To reduce the disposal of organic materials from all waste streams: industrial, commercial, institutional or residential. Financial assistance is available for projects that collect or process organic materials such as food waste, soiled paper, textiles, wood, yard waste and other organics from homes, institutions or businesses.
HOW MUCH BIOMASS ENERGY CAN BE GENERATED IN TENNESSEE
In the year 2000, approximately 2,026 trillion Btu of energy were consumed in Tennessee. Nearly 70 percent was generated from petroleum and coal; nuclear and hydro accounted for 13 and 3 percent, respectively, with natural gas supplying almost 13 percent. Biomass accounted for about two percent of total consumption. But, says the Biomass Initiative Newsletter, 67 percent of the state’s residential electricity needs could be generated using renewable biomass fuels. Formed as part of the Biomass R&D Act of 2000, the Biomass Initiative is a multiagency effort to accelerate all Federal biobased products, biofuels and bioenergy R&D. In Tennessee, biomass energy could come from MSW, forest land, poultry and livestock. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is currently working on several biomass projects, increasing research on conversion of MSW to fuel ethanol. Adds the newsletter:
“The state of Tennessee offers a Small Business Energy Loan (up to $100,000) for renewable energy projects including biomass. Nineteen distributors of TVA power offer their customers the choice of participating in a green pricing market program.” For details on the newsletter, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raleigh, North Carolina
STATE GRANTS SUPPORT RENEWABLE FUEL CHOICES AND AIR QUALITY GOALS
Through the North Carolina Alternative Fuel Incentive Project, over $90,000 from its Energy Office were distributed recently to increase renewable transportation fuels in local projects. Goals cited by the state’s Solar Center which awarded the grants are to combat U.S. reliance on imported oil and improve transportation-related emissions. Projects include the following:
Forsyth County Automotive Services Department is introducing biodiesel into its motor fleet. An estimated 30,000 gallons of B20 – blend of 20 percent biodiesel, 80 percent conventional diesel – will be used.
In Salisbury, Superior Oil Company is switching a diesel pump to B20 at its Penn Mart station, the fourth station in North Carolina to offer the biodiesel blend. City vehicles will serve as the anchor fleet for the service station.
Transporting over 700,000 passengers annually, diesel trams and buses will begin to use B20 at the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro. Signage will let park visitors know they are riding in a vehicle powered by fuel made from vegetable oil.
Blue Ridge Biofuels will increase the availability of biodiesel in western North Carolina by selling B100, 100 percent pure biodiesel, at its on-site production facility in the river district near downtown Asheville. Blue Ridge Biofuels is producing biodiesel from waste vegetable oil collected from area restaurants. A new tank and pump will be purchased with Alternative Fuel Incentive Project funds to enable sales to the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Warren Wilson College, other area fleets and the motoring public. Funds are also being provided so that B100 can be sold for the same price as petroleum diesel, about $2 per gallon.
Adds Anne Tazewell, Alternative Fuels Program Manager: “These projects will add to the body of practical experience with these fuels and increase awareness about the need to diversify our energy supply.”
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE TAPS INTO RECYCLED WASTEWATER PROJECT
At The Forefront, newsletter from the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence (Fall, 2004 issue), writes that Petro-Canada will start using water recycled from the Gold Bar Waste-water Treatment Plant this spring. The company plans to purchase five million liters of recycled water daily by 2006 and up to 15 million by 2008. Water will be used in its Strathcona refinery to scrub sulfur from diesel fuel. Currently water from the North Saskatchewan River is used for this purpose.
Besides regular treatment, wastewater will be treated by advanced membrane filter technology at Gold Bar. Membranes have pore openings 10 times smaller than bacteria. A 5-kilometer pipeline to deliver recycled water to Strathcona will be completed by December 2005, and it will serve the industrial area that includes parkland areas, industrial customers and ski clubs who can tap into the line for snowmaking purposes.
Gold Bar returns about 260 million liters of wastewater to the North Saskatchewan River daily. Explains Darryl Seehagel, Gold Bar supervisor: “This recycling project reduces the need to develop new water treatment capacity, it uses municipal wastewater as a resource, and it helps drive the research to identify and eliminate trace contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides.” In conjunction with the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence, the University of Alberta is continuing its research at the Gold Bar plant into the full potential of wastewater recycling.