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  • On October 17, 2014 Profs. Themelis and Castaldi visited the Xiaoshan WTE plant of Jinjiang Green Energy (Hangzhou, China). In photograph, Mr. Wang GM of Sanfeng Covanta, Prof. Themelis, the Plant Manager and Prof. Castaldi
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    Oct 19, 2014

  • The bi-annual meeting of WTERT was held at Columbia University this week, bringing together leaders in industry, government, and academia to discuss the latest trends in sustainable waste management and waste-to-energy. WTERT put together a first-rate program featuring thought leaders from the U.S. and abroad. As usual, the conference gave participants a wonderful diversity of information on business, policy, research, and technology that benefitted all. At the Awards Dinner, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was awarded the WTERT 2014 Award for planning, policy and implementation of outstanding advances to recycling, composting and waste-to-energy, 200-2014. ROK has achieved a higher standing on the sustainable waste management "ladder" than the U.S., at a GDP per capita that is significantly lower. The full Proceedings of the WTERT Meeting will be published shortly on the WTERT web.
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    Oct 14, 2014

  • The thesis Potential for combined heat and power and district heating and cooling from Waste-to-Energy facilities in the US - Learning from the Danish experience of Ulloa Priscilla, examines district heating in the US. Now, Bridgeport (CT) is examining district energy, which may provide opportunities for Wheelabrator's Bridgeport waste-to-energy facility. NuPower Thermal has taken the lead on the creation of a low-temperature heating and cooling system in the city, which would provide a low-temperature water loop, which officials estimate it could lead to an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, of up to 13,000 tons a year. One of the sources of Bridgeport's heat would be Wheelabrator. Michelle Nadeau, spokeswoman for Wheelabrator, said, "Wheelabrator Bridgeport has the capacity to fuel a thermal loop in downtown Bridgeport and we carry to the proposed project our experience serving customers with similar energy solutions in Baltimore and New York." Presently, NuPower is working with the Danish company Ramboll Group on designing the project so they can bring prospective customers on board.
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    Oct 13, 2014

  • Please see brochure of this very important International Conference in Hangzhou, China, I-CIPEC, October 14-16. The Conference advances in research on topics ranging from combustion, incineration/pyrolysis, and emission to climate change. Prof. Kefa Cen of Zhejiang University (WTERT China) is Chair and Prof. Nickolas Themelis (Global WTERT Council), co- Chair.
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    Sept 26, 2014

  • The next bi-annual meeting of WTERT will be held at Columbia University on Thursday-Friday, October 9 and 10. The 2014 WTERT Award will be presented at the awards dinner of October 9 and will be going to the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Also, the Materials and Energy Recovery (MER) division of ASME will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. John Klett, formerly CTO of Covanta Energy. Click here to view the program of our 2 day event along with a description of how to get there. To register for the WTERT 2014 Conference, please go to the following link. Information on parking and location of event and dinner are provided on the program link, while information on hotels recommended by Columbia University are provided on our online registration form. For those of you who did not have the time to register online, will have the opportunity to participate the WTERT 2014 event by going to our registration desk prior to the commencement of the event at the Schapiro Building - Campus level, Columbia University. (Please note: Cash or checks at the registration desk will be accepted only)
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    Sept 25, 2014

  • Do you have any questions about waste management, policy, philosophy, possible solutions, and everything in between? Ask Ad Lansink. Be Waste Wise is running a campaign to send questions to Ad Lansink, the inventor of the waste management hierarchy. If your have any burning questions, please visit our Be Waste Wise friends' link called the #LansinkLadder.
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    Sept 22, 2014

  • The next bi-annual meeting of WTERT will be held at Columbia University on Thursday-Friday, October 9 and 10. The 2014 WTERT Award will be presented at the awards dinner of October 9. Also, the Materials and Energy Recovery (MER) division of ASME will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. John Klett, formerly CTO of Covanta Energy. To register for the WTERT 2014 Conference, please go to the following link.
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    Sept 15, 2014

  • On September 2, Professor Nickolas Themelis, Chair of WTERT and head of the Global WTERT Council, met with Chilean Authorities in Energy and Innovation. The director of the Earth Engineering Center, visited Chile and met with important authorities to discuss relevant problems for the country under energy and innovation topics. After visiting the Ministry of Energy, a more research oriented meeting was held where the main topic was professor's experience in turning waste into energy. To read more about this topic in English click here. To see a Spanish version, click here
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    Sept 12, 2014

  • For several years, EEC/WTERT has supported separate single-stream collection of recyclables vs the hopeless task of collecting mixed MSW and trying to separate it into recyclables and trash. Here is a study supporting the EEC/WTERT position: "The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has adopted a policy in favor of separating recyclables from waste prior to collection as opposed to commingling or one-bin collection. According to ISRI, source separating recyclable materials from the waste stream before collection ensures that such materials, particularly paper, are not unnecessarily contaminated and degraded. "One-bin collection jeopardizes the quality of recyclables by mixing them with liquids, food, chemicals and other waste thereby lowering, and in many cases all-together destroying their value," warned Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. "Materials that are all together destroyed will be diverted to landfills or incinerators lowering recycling rates and damaging the environment. Simply put, one-bin collection is not good for recycling," he explained. In its policy the organization stated: "ISRI supports the collection and sortation of recyclable materials in a manner that optimizes the value and utilization of the material as specification grade commodities to be used as feedstock to manufacture new products. (Waste Management World 8/12/14)."
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    Aug 19th, 2014

  • The American Chemistry Council's plastics division has released a new EEC/WTERT report delving into the outlets for the difficult-to-recycle materials, including waste-to-energy, plastics-to-oil, solid fuel and gasification. The report is aimed to educate people about different processes that can capture the value of non-recycled plastics and gives an overview on how MSW and plastics are being handled currently. In addition to the report, a new dedicated page on From Chemistry to Energy, and a blog entry, the ACC created a new infographic for some of the key findings on their website.
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    July 10th, 2014

  • The Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University, in collaboration with WTERT-Greece/SYNERGIA and CONSORCI per al Tractament de RSU del Maresme is organizing a workshop entitled "Advancing sustainable waste management worldwide. The case of Catalonia/Maresme" to be held October 13th-15th, 2014 during the Recuwatt Congress (Mataró, Spain). For more information about the workshop (in Spanish), click here
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    July 10th, 2014

  • The American Chemistry Council's plastics division has released a new video aimed at educating people about different processes that can capture the value of non-recycled plastics. The ACC press release explores the different ways plastics can be converted into energy. The video titled: "Beyond Recycling: Recovering the Energy in Non-Recycled Plastics," delves into the outlets for the difficult-to-recycle materials, including waste-to-energy, plastics-to-oil, solid fuel and gasification.
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    July 1st, 2014

  • The Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University in collaboration with WTERT-Greece/SYNERGIA and CONSORCI per al Tractament de RSU del Maresme are organizing an International interdisciplinary workshop/intensive course, focusing on cutting-edge technologies for sustainable waste management and their potential application, in the city of Mataró, very close to Barcelona, Spain.
    Dr. Efstratios Kalogirou, Vice Chair Global WTERT Council, will lead this Three days intensive course with a team of experts in the field of waste management from prestigious institutions at both international and national level, as well as professionals from the global waste management industry.
    The 3-day workshop (13-15 October 2014) evaluates the environmental benefits and impacts and the economic viability of mainly :
    Recycling |Anaerobic Digestion | Composting | Mechanical-Biological Treatment | Thermal Treatment | Waste to Energy.
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    July 1st, 2014

  • WTERT would like to thank Daniela Milton and her team for the translation and dissemination of essential information on Waste Material Utilization: Reuse, Recycle, Energy Recovery by translating it into Swedish.
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    June 3nd, 2014

  • Low and middle income countries generate less waste per person and recycle comparably with high income countries. But, the burgeoning amount of waste after recycling ends up in open dumpsites, jeopardizing public health, degrading quality of life and polluting the environment. In such situations, it is not easy to answer the question "energy from waste or landfill?". In this context, Be Waste Wise hopes the newest article "After 3R's, recover energy from waste or landfill?", by Prof. Daniel Hoornweg (Energy Systems, University of Ontario Institute of Technology) and Perinaz Bhada-Tata (Solid Waste and Climate Change Consultant), contributes to informed decision making.
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    June 2nd, 2014

  • A big congrats to this years' batch of students that graduated in May! A picture of our WTERT research group can be found here.
    From left to right in the picture: Mrs. Themelis, Andres Estrada, Oliver Morin, Henri Dwyer, Shumeng Liu, Professor Themelis, Nour Awad, Shahnoza Boboeva, Vikram Raju, Diane Ye and Charles Mussche.
    WTERT wishes all its grad students a bright and successful future!
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    May 27th, 2014

  • Mr. Franz Neubacher from TU Graz and WTERT Austria is organizing a Waste-to-Energy Tour in cooperation with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). The 5-day tour will held in Austria and the Czech Republic during the period of 22-27th of June and will visit 10 WTE facilities. For more information on this fantastic initiative and how to register, please visit the following link.

    Mr. Neubacher also gave a presentation on Public acceptance and economic feasibility of Waste-to-Energy – Examples for Best Practice at the ViaExpo 2014 Conference, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
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    May 27th, 2014

  • Great news for waste to energy in India! Mr. Sastry from Ramky, Mr. Rao from Hitachi and our WTERT-India coordinator Mr. Annepu were part of a high level policy makers meeting this January, which resulted in a planning commission report that formulates India's Five Year Plans which started since their Independence. It was headed by the Prime Minister of India. This report will have a long term policy implication for India. For more information about India's current waste management situation, please visit the following link.
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    May 21st, 2014

  • The 2014 Annual Bi-annual meeting of WTERT will be held at Columbia University in the City of New York on Thursday-Friday, October 9-10, 2014. As in past years, the program will include presentations on the latest developments in sustainable waste management (SWM) and waste to energy in the world.
    In past years, the WTERT Award was awarded to people, facilities, and cities who have contributed much to advancing waste management. The 2014 WTERT Award will honor a nation that by means of effective national policies has been able to achieve a high SWM level (i.e., high recycling, composting and WTE; low landfilling) at a modest GDP per capita (on Purchasing Power Parity basis; PPP).
    The winning nation of the 2014 WTERT Award will have the highest ratio of Sustainable Waste Management Index (SWMI) divided by the GDP per capita of the nation.
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    April 14th, 2014

  • A new report published by the European Environmental Bureau announces a plan to create 750,000 new jobs by 2025, and 860,000 by 2030. The EU aims to adopt ambitious new policies and targets for sustainable waste management. Using data available in the public domain and conservative estimates, the report finds that a scenario for EU resource efficiency, involving ambitious targets for food waste reduction, re-use of textiles and furniture, and recycling, could help prevent the equivalent of around 415 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030. This equates to taking 4 in 10 cars off European roads. A strong policy in food waste reduction could also help avoid cropland use of 57,000 square km by 2030 – an area larger than Croatia.
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    April 11th, 2014

  • The Global WTERT Council has started a blogspot that provides sustainable waste management related articles written by experts on the matter. Feel free to visit, comment and contribute your insights as well.
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    March 31th, 2014

  • The following link provides an interesting concept to encourage more composting and less costly truck hauling of garbage to places far away. It could be partly a solution to the millions of tons of trash being generated in New York. However, if it were possible to separate all the food and green wastes of NYC (about 1.6 million tons of the total 9 million tons generated by NYC) they could go to such a place. Another 3 million tons could be recycled. But what about the remainder 4.4 million tons? As of this year, NYC will be sending 1.3 million tons to WTE plants. This still leaves 3.1 million tons that can either be combusted with energy recovery or landfilled.
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    March 10th, 2014

  • The thesis of Lauriane Joannic has been published on our WTERT website and is available on the following link titled: Critical review of waste management in France and Analysis of particulate matter emitted by Waste-to-Energy plants.
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    March 10th, 2014

  • WTERT recommends our members and the public to read two inspiring editorials on the circular economy by Professor Brunner from Technical University Vienna on Cycles, spirals and linear flows published in Waste Management & Research, October 2013 and Costas A. Velis and Paul H. Brunner, Recycling and resource efficiency: it is time for a change from quantity to quality published in Waste Management & Research, May 2013.
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    March 7th, 2014

  • The Frederick (MD) Board of County Commissioners announced today that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has issued the three major environmental permits required to move forward with construction of the regional waste-to-energy project planned for Frederick County. Please see the press release for additional information and the produced video that highlights local benefits of the Frederick County waste-to-energy project.
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    February 24th, 2014

  • Research Associate of the Earth Engineering Center and chair of WTERT-Greece, Dr. Kalogirou will give a seminar on Friday 15th of February at 5 pm at the Eath Engineering Center of Columbia Univeristy. More information on the pre-feasibility study of a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) WTE Power Plant in North Greece can be found here.
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    February 10th, 2014

  • The Sustainable Energy in America 2014 Factbook – researched and produced by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and commissioned by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy – was released this week and offers a fresh look at the state of US energy. The data used for the Waste-to-Energy section on page 42, came from the 2013 Columbia Survey: 'Generation and Disposition of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States - A National Survey", written by Dolly Shin under de supervision of professor N.J. Themelis. The report states "In 2011, merely 7.6% of US MSW supply was processed at waste-to-energy facilities. (For comparison, the average rate of energy recovery from waste in Europe is approximately 40%.) ... The majority of waste-to-energy facilities are located in the northeast US, where the landfill gate fees are the highest and surpass the waste-to-energy gate fees. Most development occurring today is not greenfield; in 2011, the 6MW of new capacity additions were expansions of existing waste-to-energy projects."
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    February 10th, 2014

  • The thesis of Seo Yoonjung has been published on our WTERT website and is available on the following link titled: Current MSW Management and Waste-to-Energy Status in the Republic of Korea.
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    February 10th, 2014

  • The thesis of Zhang Jiao has been published on our WTERT website and is available on the following link titled: Energy, environmental and greenhouse gas effects of using alternative fuels in cement production.
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    February 6th, 2014

  • Covanta Energy Corp. has developed the Crane Game. It is an application for your smart phone that educates people in a fun way about waste-to-energy.
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    February 6th, 2014

  • Recent article by Perinaz Bhada-Tata, EEC Research Associate, titled BURN OR BURY? COMPARING WTE FACILITIES TO LANDFILLS is now available on our WTERT website.
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    February 3rd, 2014

  • The doctoral thesis of Dr, Naomi Klinghoffer on Utilization of char from biomass gasification in catalytic applications is now available on our WTERT website. This research was sponsored by WTERT-U.S. and was directed by Prof. Marco Castaldi of CCNY
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    January 31st, 2014

  • The thesis of Dolly Shin on the 2013 Columbia Survey of Waste Management in the U.S. (based on 2011 data) is now available on the WTERT web. The final publication of the Survey will include more detailed data on U.S. composting and also the disposition of non-recycled plastics (NRP). The thesis gives the latest data on MSW landfilled, recycled and combusted in the United States.
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    January 27nd, 2014

  • Be Waste Wise announces the 2014 Global Dialogue on Waste. Use the link below and explore the themes (circular economy, food waste, public health and quality of life, etc.) The 2014 Global Dialogue gives more insight on what topics are to be expected in March this year.
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    January 21st, 2014

  • A GREAT INITIATIVE: On June 22-27, 2014, a Practice Seminar on Sustainable Waste Management in Europe organized by President of UV&P and EEC Research Associate, Franz Neubacher, will be given based on Prevention, Recycling, Recovery, Treatment, and Intermediate Storage - without any disposal of untreated wastes exceeding 5 % TOC in landfills. A tour will be organized to visit 10 Waste-to-Energy Facilities in the Czech Republic and Austria. For more information on the program, please click on the following link.
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    January 21st, 2014

  • The Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University in collaboration with WTERT/Greece and the Institute of Sanitation & Waste Management (ISWM) of Ghana are pleased to invite you to an interdisciplinary course and workshop will take place in Accra, Ghana, at the campus of KNUST-ISWM (May 26th-30th, 2014). This 5-day intensive course will focus on state of the art technologies for advancing sustainable waste management in Africa and will encompass the full hierarchy of waste management from materials recovery (recycling) to energy recovery (Waste-to-Energy or WTE), and sanitary landfilling with methane capture. The organizing committee for this course are Prof. Nickolas Themelis (Columbia University) and Dr. Efstratios Kalogirou (GWC). The instructors include Profs. Franz Neubacher (UV&P, Austria), Efstratios Kalogirou (GWC and WTERT-Greece), Carlo Vandecasteele (Katholieke Universiteit, Belgium), and faculty from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science &Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. For more information, click here.
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    January 15th, 2014

  • On October 12-14, the Global WTERT Council participated at the WGER-ISWA Meeting in Torino, Italy. A brief overview can be found here.
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    January 13th, 2014

  • On October 31st, 2013 a Symposium on the Future of Energy Recovery from Wastes was held in Toronto, Canada. A summary and notes of the panel discussions held at the CEFWC International Energy Symposium, written by Mona Sorensen of WTERT-Canada, can be found here.
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    December 31th, 2013

  • On behalf of our WTERT Research Group we wish you happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous 2014. Our year-end letter from Professor Themelis with the WTERT 2013 activities overview can be found here.
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    December 31th, 2013

  • Our WTERT alumnus and now coordinator of WTERT India, Ranjith Annepu, wrote a recent article on Waste Management World Magazine titled 'A billion reasons for Waste-to-Energy in India'. The article describes the need for sustainable waste management in one of the most populated regions of the world. The article can be found here.
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    December 20th, 2013

  • On November 15, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce hosted a panel discussion on the economic and environmental benefits of energy recovery. More than 80 business and civic leaders from all over the state of California attended the 90-minute discussion. The panelists, who represented the business, government and regulatory community in southern California, explored how investment in new energy recovery technologies, combined with some regulatory flexibility, could assist the State in achieving its 75% recycling mandate. The panel included Greg Wilkinson, principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group as moderator, with the following participants: Caroll Mortensen, director, CalRecycle; Enrique Zaldivar, director, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation; Chuck White, director of regulatory affairs, Waste Management; Mohsen Nazemi, deputy executive officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District; and Josh Proudfoot, co-founder and principal, Good Company. Wilkinson cited the importance of this discussion for helping Californians strategize about how best to use energy recovery to support waste diversion and recycling efforts.
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    November 30th, 2013

  • Under the sponsorship of Inter-American Development Bank, in 2011-2012, the Earth Engineering Center developed a "Guidebook for the application of WTE technologies in Latin America and the Caribbean".
    This 275-page book includes three case studies on the potential application of WTE in Buenos Aires, Valparaiso (Chile) and Toluca (Mexico). The IDB Guidebook is now available on the WTERT web.
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    November 25th, 2013

  • Technical paper by Profs. Qunxing Huang and Yong Chi, Zhejiang University, and Nickolas J. Themelis, in IT3 2013 Proceedings: "A Rapidly Emerging WTE Technology: Circulating Fluid Bed Combustion".
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    November 25th, 2013

  • A report called Review of WTE ash utilization processes under development in Northwest Europe, written by A.C. Bourtsalas of our sister organization WTERT-UK, gives valuable insight on transforming waste-to-energy (WTE) bottom ash to higher value applications as well as a critical analysis of research and development efforts in Europe to advance beneficial uses of WTE ash.
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    November 25th, 2013

  • Recycling, composting and waste to energy go hand in hand in the UK, which strives for sustainable waste management. In order to assess what the best alternatives are, it's important to first understand the generation and composition of municipal solid waste. A recent academic study of Columbia University by A. Bourtsalas set out to do just that. U.K. Waste Management published "Growing Old or Growing Clean?" in Waste Management World, V.14, Issue 3, 2013
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    November 25th, 2013

  • "Even when there is little public investment in waste management or recycling infrastructure, cities with an active informal sector reach twice the rate of fully formalized municipal solid waste management systems. Therefore, when designing infrastructure and waste management systems we must also consider this existing system, which has a strong social dimension to it." Read more at Integrating the Informal Waste Recycling Sector in Latin America.
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    November 21th, 2013

  • The Waste Atlas, an interactive world map providing detailed waste management data for countries and cities worldwide, is a non-commercial initiative headed by Antonis Mavropoulos of D-Waste Consultants in partnership with University of Leeds, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), GIZ/SWEEP-Net, the Global WTERT Council, and the Solid Waste Network of Asian and Pacific Islands. For the full announcement of Waste Atlas to the media, click on the following link.
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    November 19th, 2013

  • On 14-16 October, 2013 WTERT-US was invited to give a presentation on the 2nd International Academic Symposium of Enhanced Landfill Mining in Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium. The Symposium was attended by more than 10 EU member countries. A pioneering project called 'Closing the Circle' (CtC) is a first case-study for the ELFM Consortium to investigate the opportunities and barriers for ELFM in the REMO landfill site in Houthalen-Helchteren. The ELFM Consortium tries to advance a circular economy by mining valuable resources from landfills in a sustainable and economically viable way, possibly creating more continental independence on raw materials. A report on the symposium with more information about this exciting Enhanced Landfill Mining project can be found here.
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    November 19th, 2013

  • Covanta TARTECH, LLC, a joint venture of Covanta Energy Corporation and Germany-based TARTECH eco industries AG, announced today the commencement of operations of a metals recovery and recycling system at an ash monofill located in Peabody, MA. The Peabody facility is the first under the partnership. Covanta TARTECH is expected to recover thousands of tons of metal that has been deposited in the Peabody ash monofill over time. "We are thrilled to get this innovative project with our partner TARTECH underway," said Covanta Chief Operating Officer, Seth Myones. "Recovering metals for recycling from ash monofills provides a myriad of benefits for the environment and the economy. This project will reduce greenhouse gases, save energy and return valuable natural resources back into use." With new projects like the facility in Peabody, Covanta will recover even more metal that was previously unrecoverable at Energy-from-Waste facilities and will reduce the volume of material being deposited in ash monofills. "I am pleased to support Covanta TARTECH's innovative recycling project in the City of Peabody," said Peabody Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr. "Innovative projects like these lead to the creation of new, good-paying jobs and opportunities for revenue that will benefit the City of Peabody for years to come." For more information, visit the following link.
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    November 18th, 2013

  • On November 11th, a presentation was given by Prof. Themelis to Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group. Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group is a Chinese conglomerate mainly engaged in the exploration, production, transportation, and sale of petroleum and natural gas, and in addition the production and sales of petrochemical products. A Chinese report about the scientific visiting trip of Shanxi Yanchang Petroleum company to Columbia University was published on the World Journal and can be found here (in Chinese). The published article states that a four people team led by Mr. Xiangzeng Wang, the company Vice President visited Columbia University. The company had a discussion with professors from the EAEE department on the research progress, and later consulted researchers from Columbia Business School about the oversea investment and human resource development. The visit and meetings were organized by Dr. Forrest Zhou, Columbia EAEE alumnus.
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    November 18th, 2013

  • In 2005 Prof Themelis visited the waste management agency of Barbados to discuss the benefits of WTE. In 2012, WTERT/EEC published the thesis of Maria Elena Barriga Diaz on WTE for small islands. According to Minister of Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, the government is on a fast track to deliver to the country a green energy program that involves a waste-to-energy component, the first step towards eventually phasing out landfills in Barbados. Lowe revealed that the relevant authorities are merely a month and a half away from signing off on an arrangement for the construction of the proposed waste-to-energy plant. With that in mind, he said it is anticipated that the plant will take approximately 18 months to construct, and he is expecting that before the end of 2015, Barbados will have an ultramodern waste-to-energy plant, the first of its kind in the region. "With the advent of recyclers we've been able to divert a substantial amount of waste from the landfill, but of course with the waste-to-energy plant coming on board, that diversion will now have to be sourced to the plant and certainly we will work with our recyclers to ensure that they are not disadvantaged in anyway, but that they work with the Government in achieving its objectives," he said. (Barbados Advocate 11/13/13).
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    November 18th, 2013

  • Philipp Schmidt-Pathmann, an internationally recognized consultant and the founder and CEO of WRSI Consulting Group is organizing a series of workshops on Zero Landfilling. Mr. Schmidt-Pathman was born in Germany, has extensive experience working with the European as well as US communities and is one of the world's leading experts on waste management. Moving towards Zero Waste to Landfill is a fundamental part of changing how we manage our waste and utilizing alternatives to landfilling. The Zero Landfilling initiative looks to have a series of Workshops along the West Coast in March/April of 2014. Most speakers will be from Europe including European Union that facilitates, enforces and supervises the compliance of EU member states/countries moving away from landfilling. The planning and hosting entity of the workshops and trips is Neomer. Neomer drives international innovation processes and partnerships to maximize the global impact of sustainability solutions. Cities where the workshops will be taking place are Vancouver BC, Seattle, Portland and Sacramento. For more information on the Zero Landfilling Initiative visit the following link.
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    November 13th, 2013

  • ACC's Chemistry to Energy Campaign video The American Chemistry Council released a video this week entitled "Don't Trash Our Energy" highlighting the importance of energy recovery and its value in providing a clean, abundant, renewable and domestic energy resource. The video is part of ACC's Chemistry to Energy campaign. You can visit their website at www.chemistrytoenergy.com
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    October 22nd, 2013

  • Gasification of Non-Recycled Plastics From Municipal Solid Waste In the United States A new report evaluates how an emerging set of technologies that could potentially convert large-scale municipal solid waste into energy could fit into waste management planning in North America. Although full-scale commercial gasification facilities are not yet in place in the United States, these technologies are receiving growing interest from policymakers and entrepreneurs because of the versatility of their energy outputs, which include steam, electricity, ethanol, and diesel along with chemical intermediates. According to the report, which was written with municipalities, investors and waste managers in mind, there are currently 21 demonstration facilities being operated in the United States and another 17 commercial-scale facilities under development. Report authors Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. point out that energy-rich non-recycled plastics are an attractive feedstock for gasification processes. The report, "Gasification of Non-Recycled Plastics from Municipal Solid Waste in the United States" offers an overview of gasification technologies, feedstock flexibility, outputs and economics, licensing companies, experience with gasification technologies, opportunities and barriers to commercialization, and the potential role of gasification in integrated waste management systems. (American Chemistry Council 9/12/13)
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    September 25th, 2013

  • A recent study published on economic benefits of WTE Eileen Berenyi of Governmental Advisory Associates released a report entitled "Nationwide Economic Benefits of the Waste-to-Energy Sector," which concludes that the total economic contribution of the United States waste-to-energy sector is $5.6 billion of gross economic sales output. The sector encompasses nearly 14,000 direct and indirect jobs and nearly $890 million of total labor compensation. In 2010, the waste-to-energy sector directly employed 5,350 people servicing 85 plants in the United States. Direct labor earnings for those employees totaled $459 million in wages, salaries and benefits paid to WTE employees in the United States. An additional 8,557 full time equivalent jobs are created in the U.S. outside the WTE sector, based on an estimated 1.6 additional jobs supported by each direct waste-to-energy job. As a result of the WTE sector, those nearly 8,600 jobs yielded an additional $429 million in wages, salaries and benefits received by workers outside the waste-to-energy sector.
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    September 12th, 2013

  • Covanta Announces 20-Year Agreement with New York City Department of Sanitation for Sustainable Solid Waste Disposal Earth Engineering Center's efforts to convince New York City to move away from landfilling are finally bearing fruit.
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    August 30th, 2013

  • Release of a WTE Guidebook for Latin America and the Caribbean A new Earth Engineering Center major contribution to the WTE literature: "WTE Guidebook for Latin America and the Caribbean", sponsored by InterAmerican Development Bank
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    August 15th, 2013

  • National Geographic Daily News: Urban Ski Slope to Raise Profile of Europe's Waste-to-Energy Drive Copenhagen, with a waterfront already famous for bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and offshore wind turbines, is adding another clean energy feature to its urban landscape: a ski resort.
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    August 4th, 2013

  • Plans to Build a Pyrolysis Plant in Hong Kong to convert plastics into fuel oil Hong Kong Telford Envirotech Group Ltd., which has three plastics recycling plants in Hong Kong and two in neighboring Guangdong province in China, is proposing to build the pyrolysis plant, which would have an initial capacity of processing 7,200 metric tons of waste plastic annually.
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    July 30st, 2013

  • Waste Wise Online Panel: Compatibility between Recycling and Waste-to-Energy Waste Wise is hosting an online panel on July 17th at 2pm EST on the compatibility between recycling and waste-to-energy. Waste Wise uses 21st century tools it shares expertise globally; opening up high-quality, leading edge thinking to those who have not had access to this expertise, while also eliminating the environmental and financial costs of global conferences. The panel will address three important sub-topics:
      Reasons for varying degrees of compatibility between recycling and waste-to-energy in North America and Europe
      Reasons for counter-intuitive statistics which show higherrecycling rates in communities with WTE in the U.S. and Europe.
      What must be done simultaneously in recycling and WTE to further increase landfill diversion rates?
    This panel will be moderated by Dr. Scott Kaufman and feature Shawn L. Otto and Dr. Eileen Berenyi as the panelists. Shawn L. Otto is the author of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, where he wrote about opposition to waste treatment technologies like waste-to-energy in the U.S. His Why Burning Waste Fights Climate Change was recently published on Huffington Post and other media organizations. Dr. Eileen Berenyi is the Founder and President of Governmental Advisory Associates, and is the author of several reports on the compatibility of waste-to-energy and recycling. Please visit www.wastewise.be for more details on the program. Participation is free of charge.
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    July 13st, 2013

  • MatER newsletter Our sister organisation WTERT Italy releases their MatER (Materials and Energy from Refuse) newsletter of June.
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    July 1st, 2013

  • Waste to Energy as Integral Part of Sustainable Waste Management Worldwide : The case of Baku city, Azerbaijan Dr. Stratos Kalogirou, EEC Research Associate and head of WTERT-Greece was co-organizer, with Azerbaijan company Tamiz Sharar, of a week-long intensive course on sustainable waste management in Baku (June 17--21). Other instructors in this course, attended by representatives of fourteen nations, were Profs. Nickolas Themelis (WTERT-U.S.), Stefano Consonni (WTERT-Italy), Carlo Vandercasteele (Belgium), and Franz Neubacher (Austria). A highlight of the course was the visit of the brand new (2012) Waste to Energy plant of Baku, built by CNIM (capacity: 500,000 tons/year).
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    July 1st, 2013

  • Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2011 Facts and Figures EPA released its report stating that recycled tonnage decreased slightly from 2010 to 2011. The EPA report vastly understates the tonnage landfilled, in comparison to the 2010 Columbia University/BioCycle survey. The Columbia University 2013 survey will be released later this year.
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    July 1st, 2013

  • Barack Obama directs new pollution standards to reduce greenhouse gasses - Covanta Energy Corp. applauds speech U.S.President Barack Obama is directing the U.S. EPA to enact new pollution standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Covanta Energy Corp., the largest operator of waste-to-energy facilities in the country, applauded Obama's speech, stating that sustainable waste management is a critical tool combatting climate change, with the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by one billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, by 2050.
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    July 1st, 2013

  • Energizing Waste. A Win-Win Situation The Confederation of European Waste-To-Energy plants (CEWEP) releases a paper for future Waste-to-Energy policy recommendations. Waste-to-Energy has a role to play in both sustainable Waste Management and Energy Supply.
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    June 26th, 2013

  • United States Department of Energy Request for Information The U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency &Renewable Energy and the Bioenergy Technology Office Release a Request For Information on WASTE: Waste Applications for Sustainable Technologies for Energy
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    June 24th, 2013

  • Energy Recovery Council Weekly Update Updates from the Energy Recovery Council on the newest Waste-To-Energy Developments in the U.S.
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    June 21th, 2013

  • Bloomberg trying to advance composting Article appearing in NY Times: The Bloomberg administration plans to announce shortly that it is hiring a composting plant to handle 100,000 tons of food scraps a year. That amount would represent about 10 percent of the city's residential food waste.
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    June 18th, 2013

  • Turning Trash into Treasure Article appearing in "Mechanical Engineering" journal of American Society Mechanical Engineers (ASME) home of the Energy and Materials Recovery Division (MER); Prof. Marco Castaldi of WTERT is incoming Chair.
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    June 17th, 2013

  • The new INASHCO 300.000 t/y bottom ash treatment plant A timelapse video of the New INASHCO 300.000 tons per year bottom ash treatment plant which was constructed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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    June 17th, 2013

  • Press Release EPA Energy Answers International has been granted permit for the first Waste To Energy (WTE) plant in Puerto Rico. In the past few years, the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) and WTERT have sponsored one MS thesis on the need for WTE in Puerto Rico and Prof. Themelis has made two presentations on this subject in Puerto Rico, one at the invitation of the Administrator of EPA Region 2.
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    June 12th, 2013

  • Press Release Energy Answers Energy Answers International: Issuance of the PSD Permit for the Arecibo (Puerto Rico) Resource Recovery Project.
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    June 12th, 2013

  • Report Recycling, composting and waste to energy go hand in hand in the UK, which strives for sustainable waste management. In order to assess what the best alternatives are, it's important to first understand the generation and composition of municipal solid waste. A recent academic study by Columbia University set out to do just that.
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    June 4th, 2013

  • Report from New York Citizens Budget Commission: Another blue ribbon report documenting the great need for NYC to move to waste-to-energy. But any time Mayor Bloomberg starts to deal with this need, he is soon cowered by a vociferous small minority that lives in the past.
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    March 26th, 2013

  • Projection of 2013 new WTE capacity of value of $7.4 billion would mean an addition of about 10 million tons to the global capacity, i.e. an unprecedented 5% annual growth.
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    March 8th, 2013

  • The WTE Section (editor Prof. N.J. Themelis) of the newly published Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology was selected by Springer to be included in the newly published book titled "Renewable Energy Systems."
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    March 4th, 2013

  • The changing nature of energy from waste in the UK
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    February 27th, 2013

  • Check out Covanta Energy's new virtual tour video of complete Waste-to-Energy process!
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    February 22nd, 2013

  • Comments by Prof. Themelis on "zero waste" discussion in D-Waste blog of Linked In:

    On the basis of all human experience, across all nations and times, I am sorry to say that there is no such a thing as "zero waste" nor will ever be, since transformation of all materials involves the use of energy (which has its own attendant residues/wastes) and the generation of some residues. For example, recycling of mixed paper has a 15% residue that has to be landfilled or combusted with energy recovery. Maybe, by "zero waste"proponents mean "zero landfilling", that has been achieved by several nations (see "Ladder" of sustainable waste management of Earth Engineering Center (EEC)).

    "Zero waste" is devoutly to be wished, same as "zero disease" but it helps to have doctors, drugs, and hospitals. Nature is brought up usually as an example of a "zero waste" system but every human generates over 0.1 ton of human waste per year. At the end of our days, we are transformed into residues that are either landfilled or incinerated.
    -Nickolas Themelis, Director, EEC
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    February 21, 2013

  • The Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University in collaboration with WTERT-Greece/SYNERGIA and Tamiz Shahar OJSC, are organizing an interdisciplinary event/intensive course, that will focus on state of the art technologies for sustainable waste management, entitled "Waste to Energy as an Integral Part of Sustainable Waste Management Worldwide. The case of Baku city/ Azerbaijan", to be held 17-21 June 2013, at Baku city, Republic of Azerbaijan. Details available HERE.
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    February 13, 2013

  • Observations from India's Crisis - written by Ranjith Annepu, Global WTERT Council Coordinator of WTERT-India.
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    February 4th, 2013

  • Presentation available here on new WTE plant for Baku Azerbaijan. Please note that the next intensive waste management and WTE course, co-sponsored by the Earth Engineering Center, will be held in Baku the week of June 17.
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    January 25th, 2013
  • See video on "EVOLV" hydrometallurgical process of ATMI company for recovering valuable metals from electronic waste (subject of MS thesis of Ms. Jennifer Namias of EEC).
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    January 16th, 2013
  • Copenhagen's ski-slope topped waste to energy plant is going ahead. Click here to read more.
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    January 14th, 2013
  • Prof. Nickolas Themelis, EEC Director, is editor of the Waste-to-Energy section (420 pages) of the newly published 18-volume Encyclopedia of Sustainability of Science and Technology" (Springer Publishing , 12,555 pages).

    Prof. Themelis was also appointed by the International Panel for CLimate Change as author of the Waste-to-Energy (WTE), composting and landfill gas utilization section of the forthcoming (2014) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of IPCC.
    .---
    January 14th, 2013
  • New book on "Renewable Energy Systems" published by Elsevier is co-edited by Prof. Nickolas Themelis.  A large section of this book is dedicated to waste-to-energy. Click here to read more.
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    January 14th, 2013
  • The 2nd International Brainstorming Workshop on Short and Long-Term Solutions for Municipal Solid Waste Management Problems in Indian Cities will be held on February 21 to 22, 2013, New Delhi, India. Click here to see the brochure.
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    December 4th, 2012


  • Comments by Prof. Themelis in D-Waste page on Linked-In, regarding reduction of MSW generated. Link here to see.
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    December 3rd, 2012


  • The D-Waste organization that is co-sponsored by EEC has a lively discussion in Linked-In web on various facets of waste management. A recent query, from Canad, asked for information on handling of C&D waste. Link here to see Prof. Themelis's response.
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    December 3rd, 2012


  • Wood chips from Hurricane Sandy--USACE seeking additional contractors for processing! Click for details
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    November 30th, 2012


  • Trash: New York City's $2 Billion Problem: Joint lecture by Kate Ascher, Columbia University GSAPP, Marcia Bystryn, President, New York League of Conservation Voters; Venetia Lannon, Regional Director, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Samantha MacBride, Assistant Professor, Public Affairs, Baruch College

    What does one do with 15,000 tons of garbage a day? If you're New York City, you take it away by truck and throw it out—most of it in big holes in the ground in places as far away as Virginia and Ohio. What you don't do is source separate it, recycle it, or make energy from it, despite the fact that technologies to use garbage for beneficial purposes are established around the world. This panel of experts explains why New York's City's waste disposal system is stuck in neutral, and how to change it.

    Wednesday 6.30 PM, Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Morningside Campus, Columbia University (116 & B'way)
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    November 2th, 2012


  • WTERT-China and academic research activities on sustainable waste management in China. Click here to see.
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    November 21st, 2012


  • Battle to build or not to build an Indiana landfill is going on for over thirty years, click here to see the details.
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    November 19th, 2012


  • Prof. Frank Zeman of Royal Canadian Military College (Kingston, Ont.) and EEC Research Associate is Editor of Metropolitan Sustainability (Woodhead Publishing, 2012) that includes chapter by Prof. N.J. Themelis ("Role of waste-to-energy in urban infrastructure", Ch. 21, p. 501-519).
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    November 14th, 2012


  • Springer Publishers has just published the monumental (12,500 pages) Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology (ed. Robert Meyers). Prof. Nickolas Themelis is Editor of the Waste-to-Energy volume that includes eighteen essays by foremost researchers and engineers in this field: click here to see the contributors. For a description of the Encyclopedia, please click here.
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    November 12th, 2012


  • The proceedings for WTERT 2012 Bi-Annual Conference are now online. Click for presentation slides, posters, and other conference highlights.
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    October 26th, 2012


  • The Global Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT) and D-WASTE, announced their cooperation in oredr to map Solid Waste Management facilities worldwide using the web and mobile application D-WASTE Atlas www.atlas.d-waste.com . See the news http://www.d-waste.com/d-waste-news/item/109-d-waste-and-global-wtert-council-join-forces-for-mapping-waste-to-energy-facilities.html
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    October 22nd, 2012


  • Our Polish associate, Ms. Olga Babenko, has translated to Polish and published an article on recycling that originally appeared in our EEC web. For Polish version please visit link
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    October 7th, 2012


  • CV Dwyer with link
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  • Testimony of Rick Brandes, EEC Research Associate, at U.S. Virgin Islands Senate on importance of WTE for islands.
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    January 14th, 2012

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