BioCycle World

BioCycle November 2016, Vol. 57, No. 10, p. 6


BioCycle East Coast17 Call For Papers

The Call for Papers is open for BIOCYCLE EAST COAST17, April 4-7, 2017, near Baltimore, Maryland. Conference sessions are April 5 and 6 (Wednesday and Thursday). The theme of BIOCYCLE EAST COAST17 is Growing The Organics Recycling Industry — Markets, Financing, Public Policies and Best Management Practices for Composting, Anaerobic Digestion and Food Recovery And Recycling. Sessions will tackle the challenges and opportunities related to: Increasing organics recycling infrastructure; Building profitable and permanent markets for compost; Biogas and digestate products; and Scaling up solutions that make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Preconference workshops will be held on Tuesday, April 4 and an all day site tour on Friday, April 7. Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words. Deadline for abstract submittal is December 15, 2016. Go to to submit your abstract.

Metro Council Directs Staff To Evaluate Food Scraps Ban

Metro, a regional governing body that manages the garbage and recycling system for the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, has been evaluating policies and practices to divert food scraps from disposal for many years. In late October, Metro Councilors stated they remain interested in finding ways to get more food scraps out of the Portland region’s garbage, possibly including requirements that could be phased in over time. About 200,000 tons of food still are sent to area landfills, primarily the Columbia Ridge landfill near Arlington, Oregon. The councilors want to know more about how a mandate on businesses might work before they vote on the matter next spring. The direction comes after a decade of voluntary participation in food scraps programs around the region. More than 1,000 businesses in Portland now collect and compost food scraps through a program that started in 2004, and dozens of businesses in Gresham as well as Washington and Clackamas counties also participate. Collectively, about 28,000 tons of food scraps are diverted to anaerobic digestion and composting.

Ahead of their October decision, Metro staff provided councilors with collection policy options ranging from voluntary only, voluntary with eventual disposal ban, required collection only, and required collection with eventual disposal ban. Councilors agreed on the need to approach any potential mandate or ban with caution, and that any policy that might be implemented would need to be phased in over time, and include incentives and support that ease the transition. Next spring, Metro staff will bring details to council on options for how a mandate could work, how a ban could be phased in, how costs could be shared, how a processor could come to the region, how the transfer station system would handle the change, and what affected businesses would need to make it work for them.

In 2015, Metro issued an RFP to prequalify bidders who could provide local processing capacity. Nine vendors were prequalified, and are eligible to submit proposals to an RFP that is expected to be released in the first half of 2017.

Financing Wastewater Resilience Webinars

Communities are facing an increasing need to prepare for disasters and mitigate impacts on their water and wastewater infrastructure. With the emerging challenges of stronger and more frequent storms, droughts and floods, the costs to respond are rising. U.S. EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center and EPA’s Water Security Division are hosting two free webinars to highlight the financing resources available to utilities and community decision makers for disaster recovery and resilience planning with mitigation. Webinar 1, Disaster Recovery Financing, is November 22, 1:00 – 2:30 pm (ET) and will cover how states and communities use State Revolving Funds, FEMA, and other financing approaches to recover from a disaster.  Webinar 2, Resilience Mitigation Financing, is December 7, 1:00 – 2:30 pm (ET) and focuses on tools and financing resources to conduct resilience planning and to mitigate impacts before a disaster strikes. Utilities will share stories about investing in resilient infrastructure. Register

JWC Environmental’s 3-SHRED grinder

JWC Environmental’s 3-SHRED grinder

On-Site Food Scraps Management

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank (SDFB) in San Diego, California, receives more than 23 million pounds of food annually and serves, on average, 370,000 people per month in San Diego County. About 500,000 pounds/month (250 tons) of what’s received cannot be distributed, mostly due to past expiration dates, and requires disposal. SDFB has to dispose of both loose packed organics as well as prepackaged foods, such as canned goods. Anticipating a new California law, AB 1826, that requires generators of 8 cubic yards/week or more of organic waste (including food scraps and green waste) to divert that material from landfill disposal, SDFB installed an on-site organics processing system that includes JWC Environmental’s food waste shredder and a rotary drum composting unit. AB 1826 went into effect on April 1, 2016.

JWC’s 3-SHRED grinder breaks down food scraps, which are then mixed with amendment and loaded into the composting unit supplied by FOR Solutions. The SDFB system is sized for 2,000 lbs/day of food waste. Packaged foods are processed through a drum depackaging system prior to entering the JWC grinder, while loose organics are conveyed directly into the grinder, which uses dual shafts of hardened steel cutters operating at a low-speed and high-torque to grind down all of the organics and tougher solids to a less than one inch sized particle before introduction into the composting unit. The shredded organics are mixed with kiln dried wood shavings before the initiation of the composting cycle. The JWC unit began operating in February 2016. A careful assessment of the first run indicated that the shredder’s tooth pattern wasn’t optimal for the materials being shredded. Engineers provided an alternate tooth pattern and reconfigured the cutters to be more effective.

New Zero Waste Grocery

Green, Canada’s first permanent zero waste grocery store, has opened on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia (across the Haro Strait from Bellingham, Washington). At Green, which is owned and operated by Crystle Lehky, there is no plastic or nonreusable packaging. Eggs come in reusable baskets, dairy products are packaged in glass jars and all produce is locally sourced. “The concept of the store is zero waste,” Lehky told Canada’s Global News. “You can come and shop here. You don’t have to read the labels. You don’t have to worry about the packaging. You can buy anything. It’s all good for you.”

Customers are offered a wide range of nonpackaged bulk products that can be taken home in their own containers, or in reusable containers sold in the store. All refuse is recycled, repurposed, regenerated, or composted. Green’s suppliers and vendors have made a commitment to provide their goods in sterilized reusable packaging when they send products to the store.

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