Industry News

BioCycle August 2012, Vol. 53, No. 8, p. 63

Vermeer BP714 Block Press

Earth Blocks Turn Soil To Shelter

The new Vermeer BP714 Block Press produces compressed earth blocks made from soil with a marginal amount of cement — in some instances 75 percent less than a cement block but with similar strength. “A third of the world today lives in some sort of house that’s built with dirt, and building with dirt is very natural to many cultures, so it’s very accepted,” says Terry Butler, operations manager for the Vermeer Corporation and Vermeer Charitable Foundation. The blocks are suitable for building homes, churches, clinics and shops.

Biogas Services

Caterpillar products for the agriculture and biogas industry include prefabricated and tested combined heat and power (CHP) skids that recover heat from engine jacket water and from exhaust gas in order to heat the contents of the digester. Related products include microprocessor-based master controls and utility paralleling switchgear to comply with local utility requirements and gas regulation and safety devices for reliably delivering gas from the digester to the power plant. Caterpillar also markets fully contained power plants equipped with complete generator setup, CHP skid, paralleling controls, a cooling system, oil system and ventilation suitable for various environments.

Novamont’s Mater-Bi biodegradable and compostable bioplastics

Zero Waste Olympics

Even before the Olympic Flame made its historic 70-day journey around the United Kingdom on its way to the 2012 Summer Games, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) was making history by setting a goal and developing the infrastructure to recycle, reuse or compost at least 70 percent of the waste produced by the international event. This includes an estimated 3,300 metric tons of food and food-related packaging waste. Part of the preplanning included a mandate that any food packaging products that were not readily recyclable be compostable in accordance with European standard EN 13432. To ensure the integrity of the supply chain, LOCOG chose a single supplier, London-based Bio Packaging, for all nonsponsor food-related packaging. That company in turn chose Novamont’s Mater-Bi family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics as one of the reference materials for these food packaging and catering services. Cutlery, straws, cups and lids at the London Olympic Games were made of Mater-Bi by Novamont processing partners Ecozema and SEDA.

New Sharpening Service

Bandit Industries is offering knife-sharpening services for most brands of hand-fed and whole tree chippers. If the knives cannot be sharpened, Bandit offers replacement knives for most brands of chippers. The company pledges quick turnaround time and competitive pricing. The new service is made possible in part by a 2011 exclusive partnership with Zenith Cutter Co. “Now our sharpening service for any knife brand allows us to be a convenient, one-stop shop for anyone running a chipper,” said Mark DiSalvo, Bandit Industries knife and wear parts manager.

GreenDrop Recycling Station

Venue Recycling, Composting Stations

GreenDrop Recycling Stations are showing up across the Pacific Northwest at venues looking to source separate compostables and recyclables from the landfill waste stream. From the Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, Washington, to the Portland (Oregon) Trail Blazers Rose Garden Arena, these venues are finding that sustainability goals and cost savings go hand in hand. The GreenDrop Stations were actually designed through a multiyear undertaking by the Trail Blazer’s head office, helping the home arena’s landfill diversion rate increase from 38 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in 2011. The stations visually guide fans, club members, guests and customers on how to properly sort recyclables and compostables.

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