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TerraCycle in Alaska

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TerraCycle in Alaska

  1. 1. TerraCycle in Alaska The path to a zero-waste economy
  2. 2. The Issue of Waste
  3. 3. Where is “Away” on a planet?Extraction Consumption Pollution
  4. 4. Materials Economy SimplifiedA movement based on a film simplifying the description of the materials economy, the challenges presented by circular consumption, and the search for a better way.
  5. 5. Linear Materials EconomyExtraction Production Distribution Consumption Disposal Profits derived from this system Poverty Pollution Degradation War Death
  6. 6. Closed-Loop Materials Economy Zero-Waste Production Conservation Management Local Living Economies Closed-Loop Reclamation Prosumerism
  7. 7. Zero Waste: A Global Effort
  8. 8. The Terra Cycle Responsible ManufacturersReducedDemand Mainstream Partners Bringing Value to Trash Engaging Education
  9. 9. Model for Change The goal is to eliminate the idea of waste by creating collection and solution systems for anything that today must be sent to a landfill. Collected waste is converted into a wide variety of products and materials. With more than 20 million people collecting waste in 14 countries TerraCycle has diverted billions of units of waste and used them to create over 1,500 different products available at major retailers ranging from Wal-mart to Whole Foods Market
  10. 10. The TerraCycle ProcessIn the lower 48 and 14 other countries around the world, 20 million peopleare eliminating the idea of waste with this innovative program, while raisingmoney for their local schools and charities TerraCycle pays shipping too $0.02 each for The items are made most collected into new products item Products are sold a major retailers Groups register online
  11. 11. TerraCycle The Corporate Perspective From what we have been told by TerraCycle corporate. They do not have the budget to open up Alaska to all programs for any charity so they maintain the position Alaska is closed to TerraCycle. Therefore ARK has assumed a leadership role to coordinate interested parties in Alaska to collect items and then we pay the shipping cost to Oregon. From their our account gets credited and they pay for shipping the rest of the way. This works for some items, however, not for all 45 items they currently collect.
  12. 12. A Matter of Economics
  13. 13. Local Living Economies The primary purpose of a true market economy is to allocate human and material resources justly and sustainably to meet the self-defined needs of people and community. Our quality of life would be stunningly different if we based economic decisions on life values rather than purely financial values—a natural choice if owners had to live with the non-financial consequences of their decisions. Full-cost pricing of energy, materials, and land use could expose the real inefficiencies of factory farming, conventional construction, and urban sprawl and make life-serving alternatives comparatively cost-effective.
  14. 14. Economics In Context Ecological economics is defined by its focus on nature, justice, and time. Issues of intergenerational equity, irreversibility of environmental change, uncertainty of long-term outcomes, and sustainable development guide ecological economic analysis and valuationEcological economics includes the study of themetabolism of society, that is, the study of theflows of energy and materials that enter andexit the economic system.
  15. 15. Natural Systems
  16. 16. Biomimicry Design Spiral
  17. 17. Closed-loop materials flow Water Management Organic Conversion Waste Resources Raw Material Recycling Industrial Development
  18. 18. Closed-loop material systems diagram Biodigestion Materials Energy Financing Sorting Gasifier Biomass Vermiculture Grading Construction Residuals Plastics Deconstruction Cleaning Resources Metals High Temp processing Manufacturing feedstock Toxins Plastic Mold Injection Solvents
  19. 19. How TerraCycle works in Alaska Since we can not bring TerraCycle to Alaska we have found success in meeting them half way and covering our own costs on shipping to Oregon. Over the last year ARK has been developing strategic partnerships with several local business who have allowed us to put various containers around to collect TerraCycle items.
  20. 20. A State Campaign for TerraCycle Over the next six months ARK plans to expand the TerraCycle campaign to every major community center in the state. Our intent is to continue the dialogue with Tesoro for the purposes of collecting items and having public collection containers; where we can arrange regular pick-ups.To accomplish this task we are focusing on onesingle item (potato chip bags) to use as the heraldof the program. Once there is suitableparticipation in this program we can expand aslocal communities see best fits their needs
  21. 21. TerraCycle StudyTo further understand how we can best utilize Alaskanresources to meet Alaskan needs while creating economicopportunities for Alaskans, we have commissioned a feasibilitystudy to understand how best to utilize the TerraCycleprogram in Alaska for the immediate future. Working withlocal partners we hope to learn three things.1) What items are cost effective to TerraCycle?2) What items are not cost effective to TerraCycle?3) What manufacturing options can we create here?
  22. 22. Size Does Matter
  23. 23. Recycling in AlaskaI have great respect for the many wonderful efforts of the recycling groupsin Alaska. I know they have worked long and hard to solve a very difficultissue. To those efforts I would like to add my perspective in hopes ofreaching a common solution.Recycling will never be enough to solve the waste issue therefore I amlooking at the recycling system from a production standpoint. From thisvantage I see two primary challenges to solving the problem of waste inAlaska. Centralized industrial process End product production
  24. 24. Reclaimed Industry of China In China waste is big business Workers (usually women) actually earn better wages then college grads and have better choices of job options. Greater job security than a mechanical engineers Theyre recycled completely, providing a relatively clean alternative to mined, virgin materials. American throwaways are critical to Chinas vast and thriving scrap metal industry (which accounts for roughly 25% of Chinese aluminum production, 40% of copper production, and 15% of steel)
  25. 25. Only In AlaskaWe have all these villages that are failing. Cultures being lost because ofa lack of economic infrastructure and high cost of energy. Why not helpthem eliminate their own waste by turning it first of all energy andfertilizer so they can grow their own food and make the rest into thingsthey can use or sell. Creating local living economies as unique as thecommunities themselves.
  26. 26. Distributed SolutionsIn the lower 48 a centralized plant where itemsare brought from around the state is costeffective and feasible with rail and road. InAlaska, transportation of goods is a huge issueso the solution, as I see it, is to develop scalabletechnologies capable of addressing a definedinflow.
  27. 27. Attracting High Tech Industry By focusing on creating feed stock from the waste rather than end use products we open up not only the opportunities on how to find value in these items but also provide a critical component to lure manufacturing. With an investment in education and infrastructure there’s no telling how far we can go!
  28. 28. The Future by Design
  29. 29. The TransitionOur world is changing and to thrivein this change we must have thecourage to examine ourmethodologies and practices.To use the systems developed byscience mimicking nature to simplybuild an technologically advanced,peaceful and prosperous society.In nature everything fits into thesurrounding environment as itinteracts with a complex livingorganism of which we exist in asymbiotic relationship.
  30. 30. Institute for Industrial Ecology Natural principles applied to Industrial practices
  31. 31. Fundamental Focus Principles • Core ◦ Synergy Technologies ◦ Energy – Biodigestion – Eco-fuels ◦ Resource Management – Community manufacturing ◦ Building – Agriculture ◦ Transportation – Temperature ◦ Economics processing
  32. 32. Educational Components Introductory Age appropriate 5-13 ◦ Field trips ◦ School projects ◦ Class presentations Fundamental Studies Age appropriate 13-18 – Six week courses – In-depth studies – Fundamental focusJob TrainingAge appropriate 18+ – Basic soft skills – Technical specialization – Employment assistance
  33. 33. Agricultural Components Vegetable Production Greenhouse Gardening Greenhouses are essential here for highest yields Pros: controlled environment, extend growing season, increased diversity of product. Cons: high cost of infrastructure, energy and labor intensiveRaised Bed GardeningAlaska native soils not suitable for high yield productionPros: wide variety of material; low costs,Cons: Limited yield ratios, labor intensive Hydroponic Gardening Nutrients for plants diluted in water Pros: Increased Yield, more control of nutrients Cons: high levels of infrastructure, difficult to maintain
  34. 34. Agricultural Components Vermiculture Production Soil Amendment Worms are great for a lot of things but as macro- decomposers they turn our table scraps into soil to grow more food in a beautiful dynamic cycle of lifeOrganic Animal FeedsInsects not only serve the ecosystem as macrodecomposers but with high protein content they couldprovide a diversity of locally producible animal feeds Carbon Sequestration Humanity often overlooks the filtering benefit of healthy ecosystems where tiny bacteria gorge on CO2 and produces oils we can use in a variety of ways
  35. 35. Industrial Components Biodigestion Anaerobic digestion Unlike biomass combustion this conversion process allows the user to extract the usable fuel while maintaining the integrity of biomass for further usable processing.A solution for the agesMethane gas has been and is being used around theworld for heating homes and cooking. It can also berefined to run in vehicles. Its combustion method isinterchangeable with propane. Going Low-tech You will notice a number of the primary casing for our designs are 55 oil drum barrels. Our interest is in helping people develop local solutions with local resources that can be locally maintained.
  36. 36. Industrial Components Reducing/refining biomass Gasification process This process allows us to process the lowest grade biomass into usable substances while reducing in volume the local waste streamContained CombustionAlthough simple technologies they allows us to collectboth the gas vapors (which are traditionally off-gassed)and the bio-char (which traditionally ends up in thelandfill) Local Energy Both to reduce operating costs and as a consumer product the end results of this process are two forms of clean and locally renewable fuels. Again using technologies common in developing nations.
  37. 37. Industrial Components Reducing/refining soft metals Copula Furnace This process allows us to process soft metals and form either molds for new material or manufacturing feedstock which is the primary use of most material.Pieces and PartsIndustrialization on any scale requires access to parts orthe ability to take broken parts and use them to makenew parts. This closed loop system is critical to thestability of any remote community. Equipment Even the simplest technologies will break and wear out. In simpler times access to the forge was often key to planting and/or bringing in the crops.
  38. 38. Industrial Components Reducing/refining plastics Low-temp plastics Unlike metal refining the process of melting down plastic could readily be identified with using a glue gun. Low temperatures and steady pressure create a stream to be pelletized or molded into usable objectsInfrastructureSuccessful agriculture requires well maintainedinfrastructure. The ability to reshape plastic resins intothe components to build greenhouses is an essentialrequirement from everything from simple valves toshelves, beams, and sheeting. Replication manufacturing In order to facilitate the rapid advancement of community gardens and CSA programs in the interior a proven readily available source of building material will always be helpful in reducing costs.
  39. 39. Industrial Components Processing construction material Deconstruction Construction is a planned, sequential, and methodical process. In order to salvage the material the deconstruction of a building should be equally detailed.Reclaimed MaterialSuccessful businesses operate in many parts of the USoffering these salvaged pieces of architecture andbuilding material to a blooming green building industry. Today’s “Green” house You can build them out of used bottles and tires if it suits your taste but today’s sustainable home designs look very much like every other house on the block unless your looking at the power bill.
  40. 40. Community Benefits Economic foundations When employed, biophysical (or ecological) economics allow us to recognize our fiscal responsibility to nature balance sheet and provides a solid and sustainable foundation of job growth and healthy production.Social paradigm shiftEducation is a powerful tool for change because a smallchange in perspective can change how you see thewhole world. This is the spark of innovations whichcreate solutions. Do you see the young lady lookingaway? Or the old lady looking down? Environmental stewardship In the brief spark that is our lives, we hold in trust those precious resources handed down from our forefathers and which are the legacy to our children. As intelligent beings our roles as stewards should be taught along with the alphabet , mathematics, and the arts.
  41. 41. Self Reliance as a Tool for Security Alaska Energy Authority has provided the location of several remote communities who could benefit from this economic development program
  42. 42. Growth: Step by Step
  43. 43. The Future Is In Our Hands To honestly achieve a “sustainable” economy, humanity must step through a paradigm shiftas profound as the transition in the sixteenth century When Copernicus showed that the earth was not the center of the universe
  44. 44. An Educational Campaign Alliance for Reason and Knowledge Planting the seeds of a sustainable tomorrow 3580 Vanhorn Rd, Fairbanks AK 99706 (907) 799-7045 www.a-r-k.us Local MissionProvide individuals with enriching experiences that educate and empower them to manifest the change they wish to see in the world. Global VisionUnite the sustainable movement in support of the mainstream adoption of the sustainable industry.
  45. 45. About the AuthorRobert Shields is a simple farm boy from the backwoods of southern Indiana. After graduating Lathrop High school in Fairbanks, Alaska (1994) he went on to earn an Associate degree from Sterling College in Vermont and has spent the last 10 years working in the sustainable basin of Portland, Oregon.There he was involved in multiple community campaigns, founded the Sustainable Today TV program, and started the clean energy construction company, Sustainable Solutions Unlimited. In 2010 he returned to Fairbanks where has founded the Alliance for Reason and Knowledge (ARK) and Real Smart Developments to bridge the gap and close the loop on the materials economy in Alaska.Roberts vision is simple- to build a working model of a self sustaining and sustainable city as the template for environmental stability, social justice, and economic prosperity. The individual efforts and actions of ARK and RSD collectively work toward this objective.
  46. 46. General Terms Zero Waste aims to transform industrial processes and products, so that material flows replicate natural systems. Closed-Loop Economy is the concept which expresses a desire to move away from a linear process of resource extraction, manufacture, consumption and disposal towards a system where resources remain in use almost indefinitely. Industrial Ecology seeks to understand the way in which industrial systems interact with the biosphere. Natural ecosystems provide a metaphor for understanding how different parts of industrial systems interact with one another, in an "ecosystem" based on resources and infrastructural capital. Cradle to Cradle Design models human industry on natures processes in which materials are viewed as a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not just efficient but essentially waste free. Biomimicry is the discipline that studies natures best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Nature has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with. Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts here on Earth.

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