BioCycle May 2005, Vol. 46, No. 5, p. 18
POWER OPTIONS TO BE PRESENTED AT RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE
From system sizing and solids separation for anaerobic digesters to realistic visions for a bioenergy-based future, the BioCycle Fifth Annual Conference on RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM ORGANICS RECYCLING will present complete coverage. The sessions will be held Sept. 12-14, 2005 in Madison, Wisconsin. As evident from new projects on farms, in cities and industries, biological processes that convert biomass into methane, alcohol fuels, biodiesel, compost and other value-added projects are becoming more significant than ever. Working with staff at Focus on Energy, the Great Lakes Biomass Partnership and other groups around the nation, BioCycle editors are confident the agenda will fulfill the promise of major energy solutions. The preliminary agenda appears on pages 16 and 17 of this issue. To register or get more complete Conference details, contact BioCycle via e-mail at: biocycle@ jgpress.com; visit our website www.biocycle.net or call (610) 967-4135, ext 21.
STATE BILL WOULD PROMOTE, HELP FINANCE ANIMAL WASTE RECYCLING
Pennsylvania Representative Tom Caltagirone has introduced legislation (HB 1413) which would provide state investment tax credits for qualified animal waste recycling facilities. Under its provisions, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection would certify facilities for an investment tax credit equal to 75 percent of the initial costs of the facility. A special fund would provide low interest loans, promoting growth and development of innovative industries across the state.
Food waste from meat processing plants, such as bone or fat, has traditionally gone to waste. “Currently, most animal-based food wastes are buried in the state’s landfills,” says Caltagirone. “The Commonwealth has seen an increasing need for alternative disposal methods due to growing concerns about diseases like Mad Cow and limitations of landfills to absorb the ever-growing waste stream.” He believes food waste in particular can be effectively processed, creating jobs and building new industries for the region, and has been actively working with officials in Berks County to bring the technology to Reading. “Most of this material has the potential to be made into useful by-products like oil and other industrial feedstocks,” he adds.
HORSE RACING TRACK OF RECYCLED RUBBER BECOMES SAFE BET
About 75 miles from where the Kentucky Derby was held in early May, there’s a training track at Keeneland whose artificial surface called Polytrack consists of recycled rubber, polypropylene fibers and silica sand coated with wax. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “while that might sound like an odd surface for horse racing, it’s getting nothing but rave reviews from riders, trainers, vets and owners.” Benefits described for Polytrack include a more consistent surface (even in the worst weather); less costly to maintain; and it drains better. But the most important benefit is improved safety for horses and jockeys. Officials note that while the track contents are expensive to install, the average track “will see a return on its investment – mostly from lower maintenance costs – in four to six years.” Adds WSJ: “While maintenance crews spend an average of five hours a day grooming the main track, they spend about an hour on the training track’s Polytrack surface.”
Trenton, New Jersey
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DEPARTMENT BOOSTS MANDATED RECYCLING RATES
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it will boost recycling rates through its first statewide solid waste plan update since 1993. The state has a goal of diverting 50 percent of municipal waste, but it is currently 1.7 million tons shy of meeting that goal. “Recycling is not optional in New Jersey – it’s the law,” says DEP commissioner Bradley Campbell. “The new plan documents a troubling decline in New Jersey’s recycling rates, planning and enforcement issues, and inadequate funding that all require serious attention.” The new waste plan quantifies what is required of each county and also requires each county to update waste management programs to reflect the state’s new initiatives.
Kootenai County, Idaho
RAPID GROWTH IN REGION LEADS TO REVIEW OF SOLID WASTE METHODS
“In 2004, we serviced 278,000 customers at the Ramsey Transfer Station, which was 41,839 more than in 2003,” writes Roger Saterfiel, Director of the county solid waste department based in Coeur d’Alene. “We also landfilled 136,000 tons of solid waste, up 14.75 percent from the previous year.” While no composting is being done, the department is proud of its wood recycling program, says solid waste planner Sam Ross. In 2004, a total of 9,470 tons were collected and ground, compared to 7,096 tons for 2003. Analysis of the waste stream shows that food residuals are 30.6 percent; vegetative waste is 10.3 percent; paper/cardboard – 18.9 percent; plastic – 14.5 percent; and textiles – 6.6 percent. Notes Saterfiel: “Rapid growth has forced us to develop an expansion to our landfill to meet our near term needs. In 2008, we will prepare the first cell of the east landfill at Fighting Creek so that it will be ready when needed.”
St. Louis, Missouri
“FINAL FOUR” BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT HAS A RECYCLING SIDE
While thousands attended the college finals in late March where North Carolina University beat Illinois to earn first place honors, the city let visitors know about the emphasis on recycling, green building, adaptive reuse and sustainable approaches at its City Museum. The Museum Walking Tour Guide explains that adaptive reuse means converting a building from its original purpose to a new one while retaining historic features. “By reincorporating products of demolition or deconstruction into a renovation, even incorporating materials from other places, a clear message is sent that almost everything is reusable. The trick is finding the right reuse. In the construction of City Museum, many materials came from other demolition sites or salvage yards and are reused in a variety of traditional as well as unusual ways. Every time a building is demolished or remodeled in Saint Louis, City Museum finds itself asking the question: how can we reuse the pieces?”
Sumter County, Florida
STATE COMPOSTING FACILITIES DESCRIBED IN DIRECTORY
From the Florida Organic Recycling Center for Excellence (FORCE), Miriam Zimms e-mails a list of Florida composting facilities that includes feedstocks and design capacity. She also invites companies, organizations, farms, etc. that recycle organic residuals to send her summary information. She can be contacted at: email@example.com. Following is data from the facility listing:
Sumter County – feedstocks include biosolids, MSW with design capacity of 209 tpd; contact is Chuck Jett (352) 793-3368; Black Gold – feedstock include manure, sometimes yard trimmings with design capacity of 25K tpy; Disney World Reedy Creek Improvement District – feedstocks are food residuals with design capacity of 40,000 cu yd/yr; Busch Gardens – feedstocks include manure, clean wood, yard trimmings with design capacity of 40,000 cu yd/yr; contact is Tom Burke (813) 987-5354; Jacksonville Zoological Gardens – feedstocks are manure with design capacity of 45 tpd; contact is Mario Doherty (904) 757-4463 ext. 159; and Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach – feedstocks include yard trimmings and biosolids with design capacity of 120K wet tpy; contact is Patrick Byers (561) 640-4000.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
BROWN COUNTY COMPOSTING PROJECT MOVES FORWARD WITH DIVERSE FEEDSTOCKS
Results of the Brown County Regional Compost Initiative Feasibility Study were released last month, and project leaders are moving forward to contact qualified suppliers to operate a facility. (See “Regional Approach to Organic Residuals Recovery in Wisconsin” by Brad Holtz, Brown County agronomist, in September 2004 BioCycle.)
The feasibility study was undertaken last summer to determine whether waste generators could partner to compost organic wastes – including manure from dairy farms and animal by-products from meatpackers and animal processors – instead of land applying them. What spurred the project was increasingly expensive and scarce agricultural land in Brown County, coupled with more stringent nutrient management standards and increasingly larger dairy farms. Harvey Economics, a consulting firm out of Denver, was hired to examine alternative scenarios and determine whether a composting operation could be financially feasible. The hope was that composting would save the dairy farmers and animal processors money on their waste disposal costs while also helping the environment by decreasing runoff and improving area water quality.
Results of the study indicate an outdoor windrow composting facility, potentially located in a rural area of the town of Holland, could be feasible for dairy farmers’ manure and some of the meatpacker materials. The study also shows that an in-vessel facility, which is a fully enclosed and capital intensive operation, is not financially feasible at this time. The in-vessel facility would have handled biosolids from the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District along with additional animal wastes from Anamax Corp. and Packerland Packing.
During last month’s meeting, stakeholders decided to investigate alternatives to the in-vessel facility and to place a hold on the development of the windrow facility for approximately six months as those alternatives are reviewed. In the meantime, a request for Statement of Qualifications has been issued: Brown County Land Conservation, in conjunction with private and municipal industries, is seeking qualified companies to handle organic biosolids from dairy farms, meatpackers and rendering facilities. Ability to handle municipal wastewater sludge may also be considered. Parties interested in submitting a Statement of Qualifications indicating experience with composting and/or alternative technologies are asked to contact Brad Holtz, Brown County Land Conservation, 1150 Bellevue St., Green Bay WI 54302, 920-391-4630. Stakeholder members who partnered to pay for the $100,000 feasibility study include Brown County Land Conservation Department (BCLCD), the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District (GBMSD), Packerland Packing, Anamax Corporation, Environmental Defense, Schreiber Foods, and WPS Resources.
Complete results of the study can be viewed on either the BCLCD website (www.co.brown.wi.us/Land Conservation) or the GBMSD website (www.gbmsd.org).
San Francisco, California
WOOD AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS GET HEAVY DUTY RECOVERY AT SITES
Debris boxes of “mixed resources” are brought daily to the city’s Recycling & Disposal Integrated Material Recovery Facility where elevated conveyor lines, magnets, shaker screens and hand sorting combine to separate 275 tons of feedstocks daily. Between 74 and 77 percent of material unloaded on the tipping floor are reused or made into new products. For example, metals are taken to an East Bay scrap yard for shipment to foundries. Concrete is crushed for use in road construction and in mixing new cement for sidewalks. Golden Gate and Sunset Debris Box companies deliver and pick up at least 50 debris boxes a day. Other routes are taken for cardboard, unpainted wood, metal and sheetrock.
Workers erecting the Bloomingdale’s West Coast flagship store on Market Street, home to the former Emporium San Francisco and its landmark dome, have filled more than 135 debris boxes. Some 494 tons of debris have been recycled to reach the 77 percent rate.
ANALYZING MANURE ODORS WITH INSTRUMENT COMMONLY USED FOR COSMETIC AROMAS
Researchers at Iowa State University’s Atmospheric Air Quality Laboratory recently began using a customized instrument in their studies of the components in livestock and poultry odors. As reported in Resource, the instrument – described as a multidimensional-gas-chromatography-mass-spectometry-olfactometry device 1 – is more commonly used by cosmetic companies to “analyze pleasant aromas.” Now, says Jacek Koziel, an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, the refurbished instrument will be used in several USDA and ISU studies. He can be contacted via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
King County, Washington
TWELVE REGIONAL BUSINESSES AND SCHOOLS JOIN FOOD WASTE COMPOSTING PROGRAM
The Solid Waste Division for King County recently described the 12 latest participants and their composting systems in its food waste “successful projects” report: A grocery store called Bernie and Boys Market in White Center used an Earth Tub to compost 1,350 pounds in five weeks, harvesting two cubic yards of “really nice finished compost;” At Willows Lodge in Woodinville, the resort began food waste composting on Nov. 20, 2003 and as of July 15, 2004, produced six cubic yards with an Earth Tub; To date, the Lodge has composted more than two tons of preconsumer kitchen scraps. Between April 26 and June 16, 2004, the Crestwood Elementary School in Covington composted 590 pounds of food residuals, commenting: “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to engage and educate the kids;” Using the BioStack system, an office building at King Street Center in Seattle composted more than 635 pounds (“Looks great and doesn’t take up much space;” and at Schuller’s Bakery in Burien, a plywood box vermicomposter from Seattle Tilth composted some 200 pounds of food residuals, while providing a “nice home for the worms.” (See July 2004 BioCycle for earlier report.)
An article in last month’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer describes how owner Joe Salle of Bernie and Boys Market gives compost to his customers. “When it’s ready, we don’t keep it very long,” says Salle. “People seem to like it.”
Raleigh, North Carolina
FIFTH ANNUAL WORM FARMING WORKSHOP AT NC STATE JUNE 9-10, 2005
Expanded to two days to cover the advanced topics in vermiculture, the 2005 worm farming workshop will tour the largest site in the Carolinas June 9, seeing equipment demonstrations of a manure solids separator, mobile bagger, feedstock, spreader and castings screener. Topics to be covered June 10 include, marketing, brewing compost tea, research and uses. Speakers include Jack Chambers of Sonoma Valley Worm Farm in California; Norman Alarcon of Ohio State University’s Soil Ecology Lab; and the organizer is Rhonda Sherman, Extension Solid Waste Specialist at NC State University, who can be e-mailed at rhonda_sherman @ncsu.edu. This is the fifth workshop she has organized on worm farming.
SECOND ANNUAL IN-VESSEL USER’S MEETING SCHEDULED FOR JULY, 2005
“Since last year’s In-Vessel conference was such a success, this small group of dedicated composters are going to get together again,” e-mails Phil Hayes from his facility at Pine top-Lakeside Sanitary District in Arizona. The 2005 meeting will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on July 18 and 19. Topics covered at the 2004 session include compost microlife, operation and maintenance of rotary kilns, odor control and operations at in-vessel facilities. For details on the 2005 conference, contact Bruce Blackett at (780) 472-9491. E-mail: email@example.com.
May 23, 2005 | General
BioCycle May 2005, Vol. 46, No. 5, p. 18