Waste Management invests in Harvest Power

Posted January 25, 2010, at 12:16 p.m. CST

Waste Management Inc. and Harvest Power announced Jan. 25 an agreement by Waste Management to invest in Harvest Power to expand next-generation organics recycling facilities across the United States and Canada. As part of this agreement, Waste Management joins founding investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Munich Venture Partners, who also increased their investments in Harvest.

Harvest has significant expertise in organic waste management, from building and operating large-scale organics recycling facilities to marketing compost products. Harvest owns and operates the largest food and yard waste composting facility in North America, located in Richmond, British Columbia. Harvest is also developing innovative high-solids aerobic and anaerobic digestion and composting technologies, which accelerate the decomposition of organic materials to produce renewable energy that offsets the use of fossil fuels. The process creates clean biogas that can be converted into electricity, liquefied natural gas, or compressed natural gas, and also generate high-quality, nutrient-rich compost products.

"We want to extract more value from the materials we manage than anyone else in our industry through new and emerging processing and conversion technologies," said Tim Cesarek, managing director of Organic Growth at Waste Management. "Combining Waste Management's industry leadership and expertise in the collection and management of a wide range of segmented waste streams with Harvest's leading technologies and industry knowledge will be key to developing new, high value-added end markets for organic materials and accelerating the growth of organics recycling across North America."

North America generates more than 180 million tons of organic waste each year and as state, provincial, and national mandates and incentives for renewable energy continue to increase, demand for local distributive, clean energy resources is higher than ever.

"Through partnerships with leaders like Waste Management, and by designing, building, owning and operating our own facilities, we will be turning more organic waste into renewable energy and high-quality compost. Our goal is to harvest the power in organic materials to create more sustainable communities, and we look forward to expanding our business with our new partner," said Paul Sellew, co-founder and CEO of Harvest Power.

The agreement with Harvest Power complements Waste Management's comprehensive waste services in the areas of recycling, landfill, waste-to-energy and consulting services. This investment will also help move Waste Management toward meeting three of its sustainability goals: doubling its renewable energy production and tripling the amount of recyclables processed by 2020, and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.