Company Helps Farmers Turn 'Waste' to Energy

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

Published on: Apr 13, 2010
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.