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Poultry Waste Plant May Reopen for Production

by 5m Editor
17 June 2009, at 8:35am

MISSOURI, US - Owners of a company in Carthage are seeking to reopen a biofuel plant that operated on poultry wastes. The plant was closed because it has been plagued by complaints about bad odours.

A company is talking to city officials about reopening a southwest Missouri plant that was once the subject of a lawsuit over odours from converting poultry byproducts into fuel and fertiliser, according to the plant manager.

KansasCity.com reports that Jim Crum, a plant manager at Renewable Environmental Solutions (RES), met Mayor Jim Woestman to discuss the plant's future on 15 June. Mr Crum said the company had not obtained financing to restart the plant, but said, "We are definitely looking."

Mayor Woestman was a vocal critic of odour problems at the plant and said "nothing was definite" about the reopening.

"We welcome industry but we don't want any odour problems," he said.

The plant was shut down and about 50 workers were laid off on 1 March. Parent company, Changing World Technologies, of West Hempstead, New York, filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Changing World Technologies owner, Brian Appel, said after the filing that he hoped to open the Carthage plant using grease and oil in the conversion process rather than poultry byproducts.

The company did not immediately return calls seeking additional comment.

According to KansasCity.com, the plant, which converted poultry by-products into fuel oil and fertiliser products, had been a source of odour complaints since it opened in the spring of 2004. The city joined with the Missouri attorney general's office in filing a public-nuisance lawsuit the following year. The action was settled, and RES installed odour-control equipment that company officials said addressed odour issues.

But complaints continued and the city council this year amended regulations so it could start its own odour-enforcement programme.

Changing World Technologies has asked a bankruptcy judge for an extension to 30 September of a deadline by which officials must tell the court whether they will keep all the company's property leases, including the Carthage property that is leased from ConAgra Poultry Co.