Invited Session: Energy Recovery

Biowaste Recovery is the Essential Ingredient of a Low Carbon Waste Policy (1 CEU)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
16:30 – 17:30
Room 315

Moderator: John Skinner Environmental Consulting, LLC (former ISWA President and former executive director of SWANA), Washington, D.C.

The take-up of biogas technologies has developed rapidly over the last twenty years, mainly driven by concerns in Europe around climate change and the need to provide sources of reliable, renewable energy. Indeed, technologies developed using food crops grown specifically for biogas generation through anaerobic digestion. In the USA, farm based biogas is still predominant. Biogas extraction from landfills, driven by the instruments like the Global Methane Initiative, recognized the opportunity of capturing methane from landfills for energy production, and are widely implemented globally. Finally, biogas extraction from sewage sludge has developed where facilities providers have understood the opportunity in creating an energy source from zero-value waste.

Only in the last decade has biogas really developed the scale and technologies to capture methane from domestic and retail food waste. Growth in this sector has been rapid in Europe where plants have been established especially where food waste collection systems have focused on bringing high quality and continuous feed stocks to the plants.

Nutrient outputs from biogas plants play a significant role in providing agriculture with quality and low-cost supplies of phosphorous, nitrogen and carbon. In more arid areas, the nutrients are highly valued and contribute important financial resources to biogas operations.

But in the less developed countries biogas uptake has been sporadic; in southern Asia we have seen uptake on a village scale—countries like Bangladesh and India have thousands of small scale village digesters fed by animal and human feces providing gas for heating, cooking and lighting. Yet the large-scale technologies seen in Europe are yet to materialize in less developed nations.

The presentation explores the reasons for this failing and the policies governments can enact to enhance biogas uptake in less developed regions. They include technical issues, such as access to grids, quality criteria, and fiscal policies- the world is still subsidizing fossil fuel energy at five times the rate of renewables, an absurd paradox given the Paris agreements that have now entered into force and contrary to the Sustainable Development Goals unanimously approved by the United Nations in 2015.


David Newman, President, World Biogas Association, United Kingdom

David Newman

David Newman has been President of ISWA from 2012 to 2016 and at the end of 2016 was appointed President of the newly established World Biogas Association, based in London. Over 30 years, Mr. Newman has worked in the environmental field as Director of Greenpeace in Italy, led for 15 years the Italian composting and biogas association CIC, was President of the Italian national waste association (ISWA Italy), founded and ran from 2011 to 2015 the bioplastics association Assobioplastiche. He also currently manages the Bio Based and Biodegradable Industries Association in the UK. Mr. Newman successfully led the team introducing pro-biowaste policies in Italy and was part of the lobby effort leading to the EU-wide reduction of plastic carrier bags directive in 2015. He also runs his own private consultancy company and is involved in several European waste projects.

Mohammed Al-Harthy, Executive Vice President, Strategic Development, Oman Environmental Services Holding Company “be’ah”

Mohammed Al-Harthy

Sh. Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Harthy is the executive vice president for strategic development at Oman Environmental Services Holding Company “be’ah”. He is responsible in setting out be’ah’s strategic direction, enhancing corporate performance, maintaining and improving public relations, and developing a sustainable business model for the different waste streams. The company adheres to a sustainable framework that is derived in principle from the concepts of waste management hierarchy and circular economy. Sh. Mohammed holds a Master’s degree in business administration with concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship, a Master’s degree in computer engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Prior to joining be’ah, Sh. Mohammed held several leading roles at organizations including Shell Oman Marketing and Omania E-Commerce.

Johnny Stuen, Technical Director, Waste to Energy Agency, City of Oslo, Norway

Johnny Stuen

Johnny Stuen is technical director at the Waste-to-Energy Agency in the City of Oslo. He is responsible for technical strategy and development for the treatment side of waste management in the City of Oslo, investment projects in new and existing plants for waste treatment in Oslo. He holds a Master’s degree in process technology, and have worked in several industrial companies producing chemicals, insulation and foodstuff before he joined the Waste-to-Energy Agency in 2007 as a director of production, later changing to technical director. Mr. Stuen works mostly with sorting facilities, biological treatment and biogas and waste-to-energy including carbon capture from WtE. Mr. Stuen has lead the national working group on energy recovery in Norway, and is since 2010 member in the ISWA working group for energy recovery, and since spring 2017 he is chairing the same group.

Peter Jones, Principal Consultant, Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd, United Kingdom

Peter Jones

Peter Jones is an experienced PRINCE2® project manager with expertise in waste legislation, strategy development and waste services procurement. He also regularly advises on commercial waste, working with both public and private sector clients on business efficiency, valuation and commercial due diligence. He has proven expertise in policy and strategy development, the flexibility and creativity to take on a wide range of projects, and a keen analytical approach to problems that derives from his training in philosophy.

Kathleen Salyer, Deputy Director, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Kathleen Salyer

Kathleen Salyer is the deputy director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery within the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a position she has held since January 2015. The office is responsible for promoting resource conservation through sustainable materials management, ensuring safe management of solid and hazardous waste and cleaning up environmental contamination at hazardous waste management facilities. Prior to her current position, Ms. Salyer was an assistant director of the Superfund Program in U.S. EPA Region 9 in San Francisco. She has more than 18 years of experience cleaning up contaminated sites. Ms. Salyer has a Bachelor’s degree in geology from Whitman College and a Master’s degree in environmental public policy from University of Maryland, College Park.

Ricardo Cepeda-Márquez, Head of Solid Waste Initiative, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, United Kingdom

Ricardo Cepeda-Marquez

Ricardo Cepeda-Márquez is responsible for developing and implementing the global strategy on solid waste and sustainable materials management responding to C40 member cities’ interests and priorities in areas such as integrated waste management, resource recovery, waste reduction, waste utilization and treatment, Improved disposal, the transition towards Zero Waste cities and the circular economy. Mr. Cepeda-Márquez also co-chairs the municipal solid waste initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a global initiative focused on reducing short lived climate pollutants and the near-term impacts of global warming. This Initiative adds the efforts of global leading organizations like the US EPA, ISWA, UNEP, and the National Governments of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Sweden, and Kenya, among others. Previously, Mr. Cepeda-Márquez worked as solid waste project manager and analyst for the Cities Program of the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative, providing direct support to cities to evaluate solutions for organics diversion and to develop landfill gas utilization projects, such as the closure and landfill gas utilization project at Bordo Poniente, the former Mexico City Landfill, a project estimated to reduce more than 20 M tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Before working in waste management and climate change, Mr. Cepeda-Márquez was a lead engineer performing hydraulic safety analysis for oil pipeline systems for the Mexican oil industry, PEMEX. He also developed statistical analysis tools for rainfall and drought prediction and municipal planning. Mr. Cepeda-Márquez has a Bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) in Mexico and a Master’s degree in hydraulic engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

Ranjith Kharvel Annepu, Co-Founder and Curator, be Waste Wise, New York

Ranjith Annepu

Ranjith Annepu is an experienced environmental engineer and consultant with seven years of experience in solid waste management, sustainable development, life cycle analysis, business development, and capacity building. He created, enhanced, and maintained environmental systems for clients to achieve regulatory compliance and cost savings. He helped organizations like the World Bank, Ocean Conservancy, and Columbia University with waste management technology, policy, and governance worldwide. Mr. Annepu is based out of New York, where he co-founded be Waste Wise, a non-profit organization which provides educational resources, direct access to experts and networking for free and builds momentum around the global challenge of waste. He manages fundraising, budgets, staff and schedules, and performs annual audits to report to advisors. For his leadership through be Waste Wise, Mr. Annepu was recently recognized among 40 inspiring and innovative professionals under the age of 40 by >Waste360 magazine. Mr. Annepu’s career in garbage began at Columbia University. As part of his research, he published a report called “Sustainable Solid Waste Management in India”. The report was described as “one of the most detailed reports yet on (Indian) urban waste”, was used to teach the subject in universities and included as a resource in databases, and has been widely cited and republished in the form of various abridged versions.