Company Helps Farmers Turn 'Waste' to Energy

Company Helps Farmers Turn 'Waste' to Energy

NPPC disputes waste as liability claim, although admits technology may work.

The host of TV's "Family Feud" program John O'Hurley has founded a company that has developed a way to convert waste to energy. Energy-Inc. has signed a contract to install an advanced thermal conversion plant at the Greenville, North Carolina, High Ridge Farm, which raises about three-thousand hogs. O'Hurley says the technology will make the farm a neighborhood-friendly business. He says they're turning a liability into an asset. But National Pork Producers Council Chief Environmental Counsel Michael Formica says the waste on hog farms is never a liability. Formica argues there is no waste on hog farms, rather manure that is used as fertilizer.

Statistics show that less than half of 1% of hog farms in the
U.S. have any discharge during the course of a year. And NPPC's Formica explains the majority of those are small, such as a hose break or similar event. While he admits O'Hurley's technology may work, Formica says the underlying premise regarding the hog industry is "completely false."

Energy-Inc. plants could also be used on operations with dairy and beef cattle or chickens. O'Hurley says each plant costs about $3.5 million and the return on investment is between two and five years.

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