Startup Profile: Harvest Power Turns Trash Into Soil Amendment
March 8, 2011 | Robert Puro
Imagine transforming everyday organic waste into sustainably grown food. Well imagine no further, because that’s exactly what Harvest Power is enabling farmers and producers to do by developing, building, and operating state-of-the-art facilities that produce soil enhancement and renewable energy products from discarded organic materials. By harvesting these materials, the company enables communities and businesses to increase their energy independence, reduce their environmental impact and reliably manage their organic waste.
According to the company’s website, Harvest Power’s Anaerobic Digestion technology uses naturally occurring microorganisms to produce renewable biogas energy from food and yard waste. For those not in the know, biogas can be used to power waste management systems, generate mechanical and electrical power, and can be compressed much like natural gas, and used to power motor vehicles. The system then composts the remaining waste to capture its nutrients and organic matter, in turn creating high quality products to establish and maintain healthy soils. The resulting compost products can be used by farmers and producers to amend their soil and more sustainably grow food by reducing dependence on artificial fertilizer products.
Harvest Power based in Waltham, MA has received nearly $50 million in capital through a combination of equity offerings, debt, and grants funding since its founding three years ago. The company was incubated by VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and has received investment from and partnered with Waste Management to process the company’s waste.