EPA Urged Not to Require Preprocessing of MSW for it to Qualify as Renewable

Date: January 19, 2012

Source: News Room

In comments submitted to the EPA, a number of industry groups are urging the agency not to require the separation of recyclable materials from municipal solid waste (MSW) in order to qualify for use as a feedstock for biofuels under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), saying that different processes require flexibility in such plans. EPA took comment until Jan. 9 on its Dec. 9 Federal Register notice on a plan by Fiberight of Blairstown, LLC (see related story) to separate recyclable materials such as paper, glass and plastics from MSW so that it can be used as a feedstock to make cellulosic ethanol. While EPA is not taking comment on whether to adopt the Fiberight process as an industry standard, Waste Management, Terrabon and INEOS Bio in separate comments urge EPA against taking that approach or declaring Fiberight's process as an industry best practice, arguing that a variety of variables, including the source of MSW, the quality of the feedstock needed for biorefining and other attributes determine the best method to separate recyclables from MSW.

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