BioCycle April 2013, Vol. 54, No. 4, p. 6
Washington State Adopts New Organic Waste Management Rules
The Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) has adopted new rules for managing organic wastes under Chapter 173-350 WAC – Solid Waste Handling Standards. The new rules will be effective on April 25, 2013. Changes to the rules affect composting facilities, vermicomposters, anaerobic digesters processing manure and solid wastes, and other conversion technologies that transform organic feedstocks into useable or marketable materials. A goal of the new rules is to improve performance of existing facilities, and encourage development of small and innovative technologies by lessening the costs and time required to obtain solid waste permits. According to WDOE, the “following changes are necessary to protect public health and the environment: A new requirement for odor management plans at larger compost facilities; Expanded requirements at those same facilities to improve operational management where finished product is stored; and Tighter standards for physical contaminants to protect the environment and ensure viable compost markets in the long term.” Also required is proper training for compost facility operators.
WDOE is directed by statute to provide permit exemptions for qualified anaerobic digesters. The agency also clarified the requirements for anaerobic digesters that do not meet the exemption. Additional conditional permit exemptions were needed for small digesters and compost facilities to help grow necessary infrastructure for handling increasing volumes of organic wastes. The additional permit exemptions provide relief from administrative burdens, while continuing to require protection of the environment as a condition of exemption. More information, and the rule, is available at: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/rules/rule350.html.
Contractors Sought To Process New York City Source Separated Organics
The New York City Department of Sanitation (NYDOS) issued a solicitation for appropriately qualified contractor or multiple contractors to manage source separated food waste and other organics collected by NYDOS from residents and institutions in New York City. According to the Request for Bids, contractors must be qualified to receive the source separated organics and upon receipt and acceptance, convert the materials to beneficial use. Conversion may include, but is not limited to, composting, and yield mature soil amendment, fertilizer, biogas, biofuel, electricity or heat. A pre-bid conference is scheduled for May 1; submissions are due no later than May 22, 2013. The bid is scheduled to be available on April 16th. See page 11 of this issue for details.
NYSAR3 Grants For Colleges
The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) created a grant program for the institutional members of the organization’s College Council to support innovative projects aimed at “initiating, improving, or expanding source reduction, reuse, or recycling programs on campus.” Grants are up to $1,000. NYSAR3 will begin accepting grant applications and project proposals from its College Council members after April 15, 2013. Deadline for submitting applications is October 9, 2013, with the first grants scheduled to be announced at the organization’s fall recycling conference in Cooperstown in November. Proposals for projects that generate interest and awareness and encourage student, faculty, and staff participation are encouraged, and should be transferable and adaptable by other colleges and universities. An education component should be included.
For more information about the College Council or to receive a membership application, contact state coordinator John Halenar (email@example.com; 551-486-0315). For information about NYSAR3 and its other programs and activities, contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environment Canada Technical Document On Organics Processing
Biodegradable material such as food waste constitutes approximately 40 percent of the residential waste stream in Canada, therefore recycling of organic materials is essential to reach high diversion targets. To aid in the diversion process, Environment Canada recently released a manual, “Technical Document On Municipal Solid Waste Organics Processing.” The document provides science-based, objective and user-friendly information on various aspects of MSW organic waste management processing. It draws on lessons learned and expert knowledge of professionals, practitioners and academics in the field of organics management across North America. Eighteen comprehensive chapters describe the technical aspects and key considerations involved in processing organic wastes.
After introductory chapters on the typical composition and quantities of municipal solid organic waste and the benefits of diversion, the technical document covers the science and principles of aerobic and anaerobic processing (anaerobic digestion) as well as technologies in each categories. A chapter is dedicated to biogas conversion and utilization options, and two chapters address compost quality standards and compost market considerations. Additional topics covered include facility siting and design considerations, common supporting infrastructure and equipment for both aerobic and anaerobic processing, organics collection and approaches to facility procurement, and strategies to control odors and nuisances. The technical document is spiral bound for ease of use, and contains numerous graphics and photos to illustrate the various topics covered. For a copy, contact: email@example.com.
Regional Reuse Marketplace
The Reuse Marketplace — administered by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) — is a free regional network in the Northeast to find, sell, trade or give away reusable and surplus items that would otherwise be disposed as trash. Businesses, institutions, governments, and nonprofit organizations in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont can become members by creating free accounts and posting listings for available items. Members may also post detailed wanted listings, specifying the type(s) of items they need. While anyone can browse and access the items, only members can post items to offer. Actual exchange transactions are carried out directly between interested parties. “As a regional materials exchange, the Reuse Marketplace replaces individual state materials exchanges and allows for material flow across state borders,” explains Mary Ann Remolador of NERC. “The state exchanges all used different categories of listings, and there was no consistency among them. The Reuse Marketplace provides that consistency.” The site went live on December 1, 2012. It includes more than 30 categories ranging from agricultural to textiles, as well as more than 60 related subcategories.
NERC is a regional nonprofit dedicated to an environmentally sustainable economy through source and toxicity reduction, reuse, recycling, and green purchasing. As administrator of the Marketplace, it is responsible for reviewing site membership requests and all listings prior to them being posted. “We also have taken on the role of marketing the site on a regional basis, and individual state sponsors are taking the lead on promoting the Marketplace in their states,” says Remolador. “There has been both exchanges and sales activity occurring. The one that stands out the most was in Vermont, where someone had posted a commercial dough mixer. It was quite large, and had been used for mixing clay. In Vermont, we hear about more people who are interested in making clay furnaces and ovens to bake bread or pizza outside. In two days, the dough mixer was sold. This is the sort of excitement and interest we are hoping to build on through this exchange.” Visit the site, www.reusemarketplace.org.
Celebrating 2 Million Tons Diverted
RethinkWaste, a joint powers authority of 12 public agencies in San Mateo County, California, celebrated a diversion milestone. The authority announced that as of the end of February 2013, 2 million tons of residential and commercial recyclables and organic materials have been delivered to its Shoreway Environmental Center in San Carlos since 1994 for processing and transfer. Shoreway receives all the recyclables, organic materials and solid waste collected in ReThink Waste’s service area of approximately 450,000 residents. Of the 2 million tons of residential and commercial materials diverted, recyclables represent 54 percent and organics account for 46 percent. In 2012, about 167,000 tons were recovered. As part of the celebration from February 25-March 2, customers who brought in a minimum of 2 cubic yards of clean green waste to the Shoreway facility could take up to 2 yards of finished compost for free.