Over the past year or two, Biomass projects have exploded. Pellets, Ethanol, Waste to Power Generation, you name it. Investment money has poured into these projects from all kinds of avenues that have no idea what Biomass is. All they know is that this is a green project and the government is underwriting loans, granting money and it’s a “Can’t Lose” proposition. Same was said about Solyndra and a half a billion dollars later we are wondering what we can do with that property.
As a Waste and Biomass Industry we need to use our Industry Associations to get involved in these projects on the front end and weed out the ones that are unrealistic and promote the viable ones so the Governmental Funding and Investment monies continue to flow into our Industries. We have already seen a large Georgia project call it quits because the technology didn’t work large scale.
Most of these projects that are being proposed or already built are standard wood residue usage like fuel and pellets, which with the numbers being built I would start to get concerned about the volumes of wood available in some markets because it seems they keep building on top of one and another. With the building decrease and associated landclearing down, there is little residue available to utilize, so Forest Management needs top priority to keep these industries going long term.
Then there are the ventures into ethanols and biodiesel that are the type that worked in a laboratory so let’s see if it works large scale and get the government to pay for it. These are the projects that make me say WHAT? Let’s plant WHAT in the middle of Florida? You promise it won’t spread? Why is there a concern? Not pointing fingers, just using as an example, but these are the types of unproven ventures that can kill future investments.
I am bringing this issue to light because of my back ended involvement with 3 separate projects in 2011:
· The first, a recycling and rdf operation spent millions permitting, building and buying yet never hired one person with any operational industry knowledge nor after starting operation did they even hire a mechanic. They have not been operationally successful to date directly because of the lack of operational experience and maintenance.
· The second was a recycling operation that did not spend as much money on the front end as the first company, yet they did not hire anyone with any operational experience either. While their business is thriving and potential huge, they are break even at best because they don’t know a from b and are learning as they go instead of having an experienced person directing common industry practices.
· The last is a waste to fuels type operation that has refused to hire anyone with industry knowledge and seem to feel that they can build a better mousetrap without having any industry knowledge whatsoever. It is almost comical watching them try to progress when there are 100 companies within 100 miles that can do what they need done and that can also do it better, faster and more profitably. With Governmental dollars on the line on this one, I am going to keep my eye on them and try for the third time to offer some FREE advice. I’ll keep you informed.
In any business, hiring competent knowledgeable people is a must, but for new ventures it is more than a necessity. That is why I am going to find experienced people for positions I know about and operations that need help.
· If you are in Sales or Operations Management of recycling, grinding, shredding, screening operations or are a site manager, foreman, operator or mechanic and are interested in other positions all over the country, willing to relocate or not, send an email titled “Position Wanted” to firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume or just a short synopsis of your experience and I will keep it in confidence and pass along your information to any and all that are interested. If there is a particular company that you do not want contacted, just let me know that also.
· If you are a Company, startup or not, send an email titled “Employee Wanted” to email@example.com and I will do my best to match you with any contacts I receive.
The WHEN Magazine provides a wealth of knowledge for the Waste and Biomass Industries. Why not place a classified ad in WHEN for your open position and find the person you are looking for? It doesn’t make sense if you were not to do it. You never know who may be looking to relocate to your area.
As these new Green Projects develop in your areas, get your local Recycling or Waste Associations involved with them on the front end so we can make sure they can be as successful as they can and not compromise other parts of the Industries so we can continue to grow and prosper.
Following up on our 2011 year end profit increasing ideas, you can find that article HERE-
R&M- Repairs should be completed by now
Equipment Utilization- Do you need all that equipment or can you rent something for 3 months?
Products- You should have already made a new product and brought samples into the market
Automate- New equipment should be ordered by now and processes and traffic flows laid out
Advertise- You should have already secured some form of additional advertising and have it begin soon
AsktheGrinderGuy Articles- You should have tried some new wear parts and figured out dollars to hours compared to what you have been using. Remember, buy in large 100-500 quantities and save per unit and in freight costs. Did you join an Industry Organization? There is strength in numbers and you get a lot for the few dollars it takes to join.
Good Luck this coming season. Questions? Operational help?