Greater Houston BPS Project - Working Meeting Summary
Project participants and guests from Ascend Performance Materials, AES, Baker Hughes, Baylor College of Medicine, Cemex, Cherry Company, Houston Solid Waste Department, Dixie Chemical, Dow, InterGulf, Johnson Space Center, JX Nippon Chemical, The Meadows Group, and Pratt Industries met at the United Way Community Resource Center on July 26th for the second year 3 working meeting of the Greater Houston By-Product Synergy Project. Mike Long, Ohio BPS Project Manager, continued the solid waste management discussion from the last meeting with a review of cost and logistics issues around solid waste generation and recycling. A Solid Waste Milk Run program is being evaluated as a synergy initiative for Houston BPS project participants in addition to the other types of underutilized wastes and by-product synergies already under consideration.
Mike made the point that what the customer pays for waste generation and recycling is the most important consideration in evaluating costs, not just landfill tipping fees. Of the total costs for solid waste management, including collection, transport, processing, recycling, and disposal, approximately 50-70% is spent on the collection activity. Mike encouraged looking at each component of the solid waste management bill when considering other options. The idea of the Milk Run is to develop routes that reduce the collection and transportation costs by offering tailored solutions that are more efficient.
Mike's presentation was a lead in to the next steps in the Solid Waste Milk Run program we are evaluating for the Houston BPS project. In the coming weeks, we'll be mapping some typical Milk Run routes that will cover project participants, e.g., Ship Channel area, Energy Corridor, Texas Medical Center; and then model economic and financial benefits of potential scenarios for further discussion.
City of Houston, Solid Waste Department (SWD) - Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, Inc. has donated a polystyrene foam compactor and densifier to the City for use in the City Recycling Program. The material collected will be sold to market users who make products from recycled plastic. This increases the recycling options available in Houston and will reduce landfill space requirements while returning a revenue stream to the City.
Cemex - Cemex used 25% alternative fuels in its cement production in 2011, an achievement that allowed the company to avoid the use of nearly 2 million tons of coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.8 million tons.
Synergy Round Table
Project members described their current synergy activities and materials of interest. Many materials were identified to be common and possible for inclusion as part of a milk-run project. Several new synergy opportunities were identified and will be developed through follow up conversations and subsequent meetings.
cirrus has been modified to simplify the process of accessing participant data. A global search feature, access to contact information by clicking on a material from the what’s new or search page and a public data page are the new features to allow members to access and share information.
The Houston BPS Project is all about collaboration. We believe that the more participants we have, the more collaboration takes place, and the more ideas develop that will shift the regional paradigm from managing wastes to smart resource use. For more information, and to join the project, visit houstonbps.org.