The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: Waste to Pet Food Plan Needs Permit

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: Waste to Pet Food Plan Needs Permit

A plan to recycle poultry industry sludge at a plant near New Castle will need a Coastal Zone Act public hearing and permit, state regulators said in a notice published Monday morning.

Green Recovery Technologies' plan would develop a factory in a Riveredge Industrial Park building, just south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, to extract proteins and fats for the pet food industry from rendered poultry processing plant leftovers.

The public assessment would center on a part of the county where novel recycling operations have become a sensitive issue.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC ) is currently considering whether to renew a permit for troubled, odor-plagued industrial scale food waste composting near the Port of Wilmington, just north of the Riveredge site.

 A few years earlier, DNREC withdrew its approval for a failed Wilmington-supported operation that mixed millions of tons of sewage sludge with power plant ash and other industrial wastes. Promised markets for the material, described as a soil substitute, never materialized. Nearly all was spread on the closed Pigeon Point landfill just north of the Delaware Memorial Bridge – some illegally.

Poultry producers on the Delmarva Peninsula have long struggled to manage sludge and other solids from slaughter operations and wastewater plants. The region produces about 565 million birds a year.

Much of the waste now gets skimmed off and spread or plowed onto farm fields or recycled at company-owned operations. Those uses have generated complaints at times, including concerns about odors and polluted runoff.

Green Recovery's proposal would take in about two truckloads of processing wastes daily, steaming it in a closed system with a solvent to extract about a truckload protein and two tanker truckloads of fat-containing liquids. A toxic chemical solvent, dimethyl ether, would be used in the process.

A DNREC ruling on the application found that the company's plan triggered review under the Coastal Zone conservation law, which bars new heavy industries from a 275,000 acre zone along the edge of the Delaware River, Delaware Bay and Atlantic Coast.

Company officials sought a decision on the need for a Coastal Zone review earlier this year. Public comments supporting the review called for release of more details. A comment by the Delaware Riverkeeper conservation group noted that "we are not sure that these industrial facilities with unproven technologies area appropriate" for the protected area.







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