Connecticut Gives Go-Ahead To Another Food Waste Recycler

Feb 28, 2017

Another company has gotten the green light to build a food recycling plant in Southington. The town's central location is making it a focal point for businesses looking to cash in on a growing market for old and expired food.  

Turning Earth has permission from the state to open up an anaerobic digester in Southington. The digester, basically a big stomach that converts old food into electricity, will generate enough electrons to power about 1,000 homes. That's about 1.4 megawatts of power. 

Amy McCrae, a lawyer and co-founder of the company, said Turning Earth's facility will take in about 54,000 tons of food waste per year -- alongside an estimated 20,000 tons of leaves and wood.

Connecticut's law requires commercial-sized food waste producers recycle their leftovers, but only if they're within 20 miles of a facility that can take it.

That's sent recyclers looking for centrally-located towns with easy highway access -- two things Southington has going for it.  

Quantum Biopower, another recycling company, has already built an organics plant in Southington, saying the town gives market inroads into Hartford, Waterbury, and New Haven. The plant's generator is slated to come online in the coming weeks.  

In an e-mail, McCrae said she's optimistic Turning Earth will be operational by the second quarter of 2018.

Correction March 1, 2017: A previous version of this story said Quantum Biopower's plant was slated to open in the coming weeks. The plant is open and accepting food waste. The generator is slated to come online in the coming weeks.