Turning waste into gold.

Author:Frost, Calvin

I went to Israel and Jordan on a Holy Land Tour. I was with a group, and we spent two weeks visiting sites that all of us read about. Places like the Sea of Galilee, Jericho, Bethlehem, The Holy Sepulcher, and so on. We continued on to Jordan, visiting Mt. Nebo, the very high mountain that it was said that Moses climbed when he was 120. (Maybe locusts and honey really do work!)

We finished in Petra, an archaeological wonder, built somewhere between 300 and 400 BC. The trip was extraordinary and clearly relevant to our own religious relationships. When Tiberius is mentioned in the Bible, I will remember my visit. It was truly an enlightening evangelical experience for me.

I tried to visit UBQ Materials while I was in Israel. UBQ is short for Ubiquitous, and the brainchild of Yehuda Pearl, a rabbi living in New York. Pearl is known for starting Sabra and building it into a hummus giant, selling to Pepsi for about $50 million. He started UBQ in 2013 and now, in 2020, UBQ has progressed from a pilot facility in a kibbutz in Israel to a 100,000-ton facility under construction here in the US.

What's the connection? What's the analogy? Well, like a trip to the Holy Land, UBQ's technology is life changing. UBQ takes MSW (municipal solid waste) and converts it into a polymer. The UBQ polymer is blended with virgin, fossil-derived resins like polyethylene, polypropylene and others, and made into a variety of commercial products that meet physical and mechanical property requirements of 100% virgin resin.

Talk about life changing! Someone once said there is gold in your garbage. Truly, the UBQ polymer is gold. I had heard about UBQ and wanted desperately to visit them while I was in Israel. The timing didn't work, so what I'm about to describe is second-hand information, gathered in conversations and research. But if what I've read and heard is anywhere near accurate, it is revolutionary. Think about the implications as their process and manufacturing accelerates. Certainly, the UBQ processed product is every bit as compelling as my experience on my Holy Land trip. Let me describe what I have learned about UBQ.

Residential mixed solid waste is the feedstock. I'm not talking about wood and construction rubble. I'm talking about flexible packaging bags, pressure sensitive labels, chicken bones, banana peels, paper, etc. I'm talking about what you and I put in our garbage at home that is taken to the landfill or incinerator. Obviously, everything is...

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