BioCycle November 2013, Vol. 54, No. 11, p. 6
BioCycle REFOR14 WEST — Call For Papers Is Open
BioCycle is accepting abstracts for BIOCYCLE REFOR14 WEST — the 14th Annual Renewable Energy From Organics Recycling Conference in San Diego, California, April 7-10, 2014. BIOCYCLE REFOR14 WEST is also BioCycle’s 28th Annual West Coast Conference.
This is the first time that BioCycle is holding its annual REFOR Conference on the West Coast, reflecting the favorable climate for development of anaerobic digestion facilities, including projects that integrate composting of digestate. The Call for Papers can be accessed at www.BioCycleREFOR.com. Conference sessions and exhibits are on Tuesday, April 8 and Wednesday, April 9.
Three conference session tracks encompass the full spectrum of BioCycle’s coverage of production of renewable energy and high value products from municipal, agricultural, commercial and industrial organic waste streams — with a primary focus on anaerobic digestion. Topic categories include project development strategies, feedstock preprocessing and contaminant removal, digester system management and optimization, vehicle fuel production from conditioned and compressed biogas; codigestion at wastewater treatment plants, agricultural anaerobic digestion, small-scale AD systems for commercial and farm applications, and nutrient recovery and liquid fertilizers.
BIOCYCLE REFOR14 WEST features a fourth track dedicated to Food Recovery and Recycling, including source reduction, donation, separation, collection, preprocessing and the integration of anaerobic digestion and composting. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words. Deadline for abstract submission is December 31, 2013.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) had some fun with renewable energy from organics recycling this Halloween. BETO released a spooktastic infographic that demonstrates how waste materials like hay, pumpkins, candy and autumn leaves can be used to generate both heat and power through anaerobic digestion. “Normally these seasonal items are thrown away and sent to landfills,” said the BETO. “From there, the MSW decomposes and eventually turns into methane (CH4) — a potent greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2). However, MSW actually has the potential to play a positive role in advancing a sustainable energy supply during Halloween—and every month. … When MSW is used to harness bioenergy — rather than simply being thrown away — the end result benefits the environment and the country in general: bioenergy displaces fossil fuels and allows the United States to create its own supply of clean energy; reduces greenhouse gas emissions because CO2 is emitted instead of CH4; limits stress on landfills; and ultimately creates jobs for manufacturing, installing, and maintaining energy systems.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
Food Scraps Collection At NYC Greenmarket Hits 2 Million Pounds
GrowNYC, a nonprofit community development organization in New York City that manages the Greenmarket Farmers Markets and community gardens, began a very successful pilot program in March 2011, featuring seven collection sites funded by the New York City Council. Driven by demand as shoppers at GrowNYC’s farmers markets came out in droves to drop off their food scraps, in April 2012, GrowNYC expanded the free program as a partnership with the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY). The public-private partnership has now grown to 30 drop-off locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island — diverting 2 million pounds of fruit and vegetable scraps from disposal since the program began in 2011. These organics are processed at community composting sites in New York City (see “Community Composting In New York City” on page 22 of this issue).
Enthusiasm for the food scrap collection program is reflected in Local Law 77, signed by Mayor Bloomberg in October to codify DSNY’s efforts to provide curbside organics collections in select residential areas and schools. “GrowNYC continues to build a foundation for a citywide curbside organics program by demonstrating the popularity of the Greenmarket drop off programs,” said Ron Gonen, Deputy Director of Sustainability at DSNY. The top performing collection site is Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn which receives an average of over 4,100 pounds weekly, and in total has diverted over 400,000 pounds of food scraps. “We’re so thankful to the New York City Department of Sanitation for being a true champion of the food scrap collection program,” says GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. “Speaker Quinn and the New York City Council should be thrilled with how the program has grown thanks to their initial support. New York is walking the walk now with some 180,000 New Yorkers or “donors” coming from all parts of the city to participate.”
Big Bear MRF Dedication
A new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in the mountain resort area of Big Bear Lake, California held a dedication ceremony in mid-October. Owned and operated by Big Bear Disposal, the MRF processes up to 50 tons/day of source separated recyclables and select materials. The facility also receives, processes and recycles up to 40 tons/day of construction and demolition (C&D) debris. Materials processed at the MRF originate from residential curbside and drop-off collection programs and commercial accounts. The 12,000 square foot facility features a custom-made Enterprise Company elevated sorting line and baler. Big Bear Disposal has been providing collection and recycling services to the Big Bear area for over 25 years.
American Biogas Council 2013 Awards
Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, was awarded the American Biogas Council’s (ABC) Champion of Biogas Award during the Opening Plenary of BioCycle REFOR13 in Columbus, Ohio on October 21. “ABC bestows this award on public servants who, through their words as well as actions, promote public policies that enable biogas and anaerobic digestion to realize their potential as a major source of renewable energy in our society,” said ABC Board Chair Wayne Davis when presenting the award. “Commissioner Kimmell runs his Department in a way that encourages the staff not only to solicit public input on critical issues, but to shape policy and regulations that balance achievement of aggressive goals around environmental protection and sustainability with practical considerations of economic costs and burdens. With respect to biogas and anaerobic digestion, the Commissioner directed his staff to identify all the different barriers to increasing adoption of AD in Massachusetts — barriers not only of regulatory policy, but legislation, public perceptions, infrastructure and funding. He then got his hands on all the different levers of government he could to try to lower those barriers. …. He recognized that AD presented great untapped potential that could benefit the citizens of Massachusetts, and chose to utilize the powers of his office to unleash that potential.”
At its evening reception on October 21, ABC also presented a special award it created: The “Biogas Visionary” award. Before presenting the recipients, Davis explained that the Biogas Visionary Award “recognizes individuals within our industry whose vision for the great potential of our industry, combined with sustained, persistent, and ultimately successful efforts, moved our industry forward, to the collective benefit of all.” The first recipient, Paul Greene, a Vice-President of O’Brien & Gere, can “truly be said to have been one of the founders of ABC,” noted Davis. “Our recipient stepped up with the vision to see how the idea of an industry association could be translated into action. He invested the time and effort to make the idea a reality. …. Paul was the first Chair of ABC and under his leadership, the American Biogas Council grew from literally nothing to an organization of 140-plus members, with a robust program of federal and state lobbying efforts, promotion of our industry, a professional staff, website, programs and financial stability.”
Nora Goldstein, Editor of BioCycle, also received the Biogas Visionary Award. In his remarks before presenting her the award Davis noted: “Our next recipient represents the second generation leadership of what is truly the First Family of Organics Management in the United States. Through her roles as Editor in Chief of BioCycle magazine and organizer of the BioCycle Renewable Energy conferences, our recipient has for many years tirelessly documented, promoted, and publicized the potential for anaerobic digestion and biogas to help our society move to the next levels of recycling and sustainability. Through the magazine and conferences, our recipient helped created the community of interest that eventually coalesced in the formation of the ABC. … Naturally, our recipient was a partner in crime to Paul Greene — helping him identify who needed to be or who could be brought in to help the ABC get started. She lent the resources of her company to the early organizing efforts, and has served on our Board of Directors since the very beginning.”