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MPower Sustainability Session Recap

Posted: 11:23AM June 23rd, 2015 | Comments

            Waste, it’s terrible to look at, seems to have no use, and sometimes it smells bad. Even people who care about the quality of their product tend to generate a lot of waste and they often dispose of it in many ways that can sometimes fail to maximize the profitability of their business. Business leaders realize this and find ways to reuse waste materials for their benefit. This resourcefulness was promoted at our second MPower Sustainability Session event held at the Goodman Community Center on Tuesday.

            We hosted guest speaker George Dreckman, from the City of Madison Streets Division, who talked about bio-solids and how to reuse them. One of the uses for bio-solids that he featured was the cutting edge technology of anaerobic digesters that repurpose the compost and biomass created by the city’s metabolic process. These digesters can range from dumpster size to a city block. They can be used to create and capture methane, a greenhouse gas, for use as a fuel in heating, electricity generation, and transportation. He explained how the technology worked and its limitations for implementation.

            The event has two parts, presentation and a group work period where business representatives and owners can network and exchange ideas around sustainability. My group included representatives from Madison Gas and Electric, Isthmus Publishing, Trek Bicycle, and Madison Art House. These companies all found ways to become a leaner organization and discussed ways to promote themselves through proper waste management. Madison Art House was also a major driver of discussion and I found that their interests were strongly connected to those of Sustain Dane. There were even times when representatives would stand up from other parts of the room and help people find ways to recycle more items. One example was metal glass bottle caps crimped inside used soup cans.

            If we implement these technologies and products on a larger scale we can smell opportunity in some of the strangest places. Waste won’t look that bad after all.

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