ENERGY RECOVERY USING DOW'S ENERGY BAG

Every day, Americans generate over four pounds of waste per person1. Despite the expansion of recycling programs during the past few decades, more than half of all U.S. trash (135 million tons2) still ends up in landfills.

Through a collaborative effort to explore an alternative for plastic waste, Dow co-sponsored the Energy Bag Pilot Program. The three-month pilot program in Citrus Heights, California proved that non-recycled plastic items - like juice pouches, candy wrappers and plastic dinnerware - could be collected and converted into an energy resource. The Energy Bag Pilot Program also helped to identify a way to keep more material out of the landfill.

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CITRUS HEIGHTS ENERGY BAG PILOT PROGRAM

Co-sponsored by Dow, the Flexible Packaging Association, and Republic Services, along with The City of Citrus Heights, California, the Energy Bag pilot program was the first-of-its-kind pilot in the United States intended to divert non-recycled plastics from landfills and to optimize their resource efficiency. The citizens of Citrus Heights were asked to collect previously non-recycled plastic items in bright purple bags – their Energy Bags – so the items could be converted into energy.

The purple Energy Bags were collected during the community’s regular recycling pick-up, sorted at the recycling facility and sent to a plastics-to-energy plant. Using their patented thermal pyrolysis technology, which is complementary to current mechanical recycling programs, Agilyx converted the previously non-recycled plastics into high-value synthetic crude oil.

1 Environmental Protection Agency,
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/

2 Environmental Protection Agency,
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/2012_msw_fs.pdf