Waste Conversion West Coast: Waste Conversion Technology industry is here to stay but only an innovative approach will yield progress

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Waste experts say finance, scalability, long term feedstock security and a dynamic approach to challenges are key to the success of waste technologies.

Michelle Young and Paul Relis are both confident about the potential of waste technologies but they tie in the idea of government buy in with financial support.

A new report –published this week by Renewable Waste Intelligence, has found that major challenges abound in the pursuit of a more effective waste management strategy. The research was conducted with John May of Stern Brothers, Harvey Gershman of Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Michelle Young of the City of San Jose and Paul Relis of CR&R – all experts in different fields of alternative waste management.

In the report, John May focuses on the difficulties energy from waste companies face when trying to distinguish themselves for investment. He comments that, “most projects have not achieved commercialisation yet” and also describes an “antipathy” towards renewable energy technology that must be overcome by further de-risking of projects.

Michelle Young and Paul Relis are both confident about the potential of waste technologies but they tie in the idea of government buy in with financial support. Michelle says “the public sector can play a positive role”, whilst Paul states that new projects such as CR&R’s “rely on grants” to offset the costs of development.

Harvey Gershman has also stated that “companies need partnerships, both public and private”. This drive towards collaboration is fundamental and seems to be held across the 4 contributors. The clear view is that the effectiveness of collaboration is a major determinant of success.

The clear long term vision is undoubtedly positive but there remains uncertainty over which technology is going to break through. The contributors prefer to hedge their bets at this early stage but they are clear that there is room for several technologies that must be able “to stand alone”.

Oliver Saunders, who has commissioned this report, continued “The need for progress in waste conversion technology is unprecedented and it is good to see representatives from across the spectrum putting their support behind this. The interesting thing is that, whilst there is cautious optimism, there is an appreciation of the needs and challenges across the industry”.

To obtain a free copy of the report click here. The report contains comment from the above mentioned professionals as well as information on:

  • How can pioneers to move from demonstration phase to full-scale commercialization?
  • What are the permitting and regulatory obstacles, and how can companies overcome them?
  • What are the game-changing technologies of the future?

Saunders said “The answers to these questions give a great insight into the situation on the ground for the next generation of waste disposal. The questions of technology, finance and project delivery are not new but the environment in which they are being asked is changing and unstable. So the “importance of getting a handle on the situation cannot be underestimated.

The report, published by Renewable Waste Intelligence is available online: click here to access.

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Oliver Saunders
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