BioCycle December 2010, Vol. 51, No. 12, p. 63
New Organics Toter
Wastequip’s new Toter brand plastic Organics 3-yard FEL (front end loader) Container is designed to address the specific challenges of food waste recycling including the feedstock’s heavy and high liquid content, acidity (and thus highly corrosive) and potential for odors and vector attraction. The new container addresses these challenges by featuring a steel rod reinforced rim to prevent bowing while maintaining container integrity. The rugged plastic construction resists corrosion, and a single-piece body with pockets to accommodate casters that do not bolt through the body ensures that the containers do not leak. Additionally, a continuous lip around the lid traps odors while a locking mechanism prohibits intrusion. The container also includes a 23 1/4-inch by 25 1/4-inch trap door within the single-piece lid for safe, easy disposal of organics. Find out more at www.wastequip.com.
Composter, Digester Company Join Forces
Agromin, an organic materials processing company specializing in soil and mulch products based in Camarillo, California and Zero Waste Energy in San Jose, are partnering to create biogenic energy facilities in California. “After identifying suitable locations, Zero Waste Energy will provide the biogenic technology for each site and Agromin will supply the organic materials needed to make it all work,” says Bill Camarillo, CEO of Agromin. “Zero Waste will convert organic materials into biogas through an anaerobic digestion dry fermentation process. The biogas will be used to create electricity and transportation fuel. Once the gas is removed and the biogenic process is completed, Agromin will turn the remaining organic material into rich, high-quality compost.” All operations will take place indoors in a controlled environment, says Eric Herbert, Zero Waste Energy CEO. “A typical facility has a 500-kilowatt capacity. The compressed natural gas [CNG] we produce will be used in trucks, buses and cars.” For more information about the companies, visit their websites at www.agromin.com and www.zwenergy.com.
Starbucks Coffee Company, International Paper (IP) and Mississippi River Pulp, LLC, recently completed a six-week pilot project demonstrating Starbucks used paper cups can be recycled into new cups. According to Starbucks, this brings the company one step closer to its goal of ensuring 100 percent of its cups are reusable or recyclable by 2015. “Our next step is to test this concept in a major city, which we plan to do in collaboration with International Paper and Mississippi River in 2011,” said Jim Hanna, Starbucks’ director of environmental impact.
Mississippi River Pulp is the only pulp mill in the U.S. that has successfully recycled used cups into fiber suitable to produce new cups. “What’s really exciting about the cup-to-cup concept is that it has the potential to benefit not only Starbucks but the entire foodservice industry,” said Greg Wanta, vice president of IP Foodservice, the largest manufacturer of Starbucks paper cups. “If we can continue to prove the value of used cup material generated by Starbucks and other retailers, we can help increase recycling rates in communities across the country.”
Starbucks currently has another recycling pilot project under way in New York. Paper cups are being collected at 86 of its Manhattan stores to determine whether they can be recycled into bath tissue and paper towels. In early 2011, Starbucks plans to launch a pilot in Chicago, aiming to transform its discarded paper cups into napkins for use in its stores. Over the past year, Starbucks has introduced front-of-store cup collection in Toronto and Seattle, where its cups can be recycled, and in San Francisco, where its cups can be composted. To learn more about cup-to-cup recycling, visit ipfoodservice.com. For information about Starbucks recent recycling initiatives, visit starbucks.com/responsibility2009.
Vermeer Introduces Hole-Tree Chipper
The new WC2300 whole-tree chipper is designed specifically to produce chips for the growing biomass industry and features many proven technologies developed by Vermeer Corporation. “We spent considerable time working with end users to identify what features they thought were missing on current machines in the marketplace and incorporated those improvements into the WC2300 whole tree chipper,” says Mark Rieckhoff, environmental sales manager for Vermeer. The heart of the WC2300 is an innovative infeed system that includes variable-speed, dual-infeed conveyor chains, a conveyor head pulley with integral grip bars and an aggressive large-diameter infeed roller with crush capability. These elements are designed to provide efficient feeding of difficult material types, reducing the number of times they have to be handled. In addition, the infeed conveyor chains are individually tensioned to accommodate unequal chain wear, allowing the operator to replace a single chain at a time. The drum design, discharge chute, cutter housing and infeed conveyor floor have bolt-in replaceable wear parts, helping to extend machine life and reduce downtime. The drum and cutter knife design provides two different knife-mounting depths of cuts resulting in different chip sizes, enabling one machine to provide different end products to service multiple end users. The handheld remote control to operate the chipper also provides real-time machine performance data to monitor and adjust settings. Find out more at www.vermeer.com.
Smartgen Wind Turbines Run On Biogas
A new hybrid gas-wind turbine called SmartGen, introduced by Hybrid Wind Turbines in Colorado, has been desiged to work on low winds using a system that turns the turbine with compressed air from a compressor running on biogas. The SmartGen hybrid can also be retrofitted to existing wind turbines to increase their capacity. Large wind turbines, even in good wind resource areas, typically generate rated power only 30 percent of the time because the wind blows intermittently or at a low velocity, a company spokesperson said. Visit www.hybridturbines.com.