BioCycle World

BioCycle August 2015, Vol. 56, No. 7, p. 6

BioCycle REFOR15

BioCycle REFOR15 Keynotes … And Agenda

BioCycle is excited to announce the Keynote Speakers at BioCycle’s 15th Annual Conference on Renewable Energy From Organics Recycling, October 19-22, 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Boston North Shore. Curt Spalding, Administrator of U.S. EPA New England (Region 1), Martin Suuberg, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Mary Powell, Chief Executive Officer of Green Mountain Power will open BioCycle REFOR15 on Tuesday, October 20 at 9:00 am., sharing their visions and insights on the power of organics, climate resiliency and how renewable and distributed energy is key to 21st Century utilities.

For the complete BioCycle REFOR15 Conference agenda and workshop and symposium programs and all-day site tour details, visit www.BioCycleREFOR.com.

Surplus Food And Enterprise Development

A paper recently published in Food and Nutrition Sciences, “New Sustainable Market Opportunities for Surplus Food: A Food System-Sensitive Methodology (FSSM),” by T.H. O’Donnell, J. Deutsch, C. Yungmann, A. Zeitz and S.H. Katz, explains the initial applied research underway in the Philadelphia region to divert and use surplus supermarket produce as inputs for new food products. “Our objective is to demonstrate that fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables that grocers remove from sale primarily for cosmetic or packaging reasons can become a large, local source of low cost inputs for new and sustainable food production,” note the authors. The research team included U.S. EPA Region 3, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, food retailers and food rescue organizations and numerous others.

Describes the paper’s abstract: “Nearly 35,000 pounds of produce were culled from a grocery store chain in Philadelphia. Twenty-five percent of this was not suitable for culinary uses, 10 percent consisted of relatively small quantities of food that did not warrant further research, and about 33 percent is suitable for use at area food shelters and pantries. An experimental sample taken from the remaining 15,000 pounds was used for recipe research and development for diversion to new commercial enterprises. We analyzed a scenario where a supermarket receives $0.25 per pound for culled produce, generating about $8,700 in average monthly revenue while eliminating disposal costs. New commercial possibilities for the unused food were then explored. The scenario included community-based enterprises that could process the produce into value-added products that could be wholesaled back to the store at sufficient profits to support two to four community employees. Extrapolating these results to the approximately 38,000 large supermarkets in the United States suggests that much of the 1.1 billion pounds of produce that is currently sent to landfills can be repurposed. If diverted to new foods each of the 46.1 million SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] recipients could figuratively receive an equivalent of 24 pounds of fruit and vegetable products per annum.” An article based on the study is being written for an upcoming issue of BioCycle.

Biofest 2015 Walks The Talk

The Northwest Biosolids Management Association’s 28th Annual Biosolids Management Conference, September 20-22, 2015 at the Campbell’s Conference Center, Chelan, Washington, will explain how to take decades of sound science and technological expertise to build and sustain exceptional biosolids programs. Available biosolids treatment options, what is critical to know about topics like microconstituents and antibiotic resistance, and the latest results in biosolids risk assessment tools will be covered. Featured speakers include: 
David Montgomery, University of Washington;
Dan Corum, Woodland Park Zoo;
Kuldip Kumar, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; and
Ian Pepper, Water and Environmental Technology Center. www.nwbiosolids.org

Film Recycling Wrap Up

The Wrap Recycling Action Program (W.R.A.P.), a new national public awareness campaign, is acquiring new partners that should help achieve its target of doubling the amount of plastic film recycled from one billion pounds in 2013 to two billion pounds by 2020, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Sustainable Materials Management webinar in mid-July. W.R.A.P. builds on a two year-old public-private plastic film recycling initiative called Wisconsin WRAP—Recycling Plastic Film Beyond Bags that brought together the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) and GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). Funded by FFRG members, who represent the polyethylene film industry, W.R.A.P. specifically aims to boost recycling of HDPE #2 and LDPE #4 bags, wraps, and films that are found in nearly every business and household, including drink case wrap, bread bags and paper product wrap.

W.R.A.P.’s latest educational campaign launched on Earth Day in Milwaukee at 10 Roundy’s retail grocery locations. Each store got new blue, plastic film-only receptacles and 4,000 educational bag stuffers to instruct shoppers on which items to return to the store bins rather than their curbside recycling bins. (Milwaukee’s recycling bins do not accept plastic film.) Roundy’s recycles the material with the Trex Company, which turns it into composite decking or pellets for manufacture of other products like new bags or pipe. An audit of the results is still underway, said Cynthia Moore, a Wisconsin DNR regional program manager.

The Roundy’s collaboration is just the beginning, noted Shari Jackson, ACC director of film recycling. Walmart is “definitely interested,” Vancouver, Washington has set a WRAP Return to Retail Campaign for August and September, and ACC is working to convince CalRecycle to initiate film recycling public outreach in California. “We’re exploring ways to increase participation rates, as well as the types and amounts of plastic film collected,” said Jackson during the webinar. “We aim to keep building on the increase in film recycling that was achieved nationally in 2013.”

Food Recovery Summit

The Food Recovery Summit, November 16-18, 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Charleston, South Carolina follows up on the successful 2012 Southeast Food Waste Reduction Conference to further catalyze the prevention and recovery of food discards.  The Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC) is producing the 2015 Food Recovery Summit with collaboration from U.S. EPA, the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control and BioCycle.

The Food Recovery Summit will bring together stakeholders from the government, food rescue, food production and packaging, organics collection, composting, anaerobic digestion and animal feed sectors. Plenary sessions will cover federal, state, local and industry food recovery initiatives; two sessions take a deeper dive into food rescue and donation and the business of food recovery. Twelve breakout sessions provide tools, models, policies, technologies and systems to reduce food loss, recover and distribute edible food, and recycle nonedible food into compost, digestate and animal feed.  www.serdc.org

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