Engineers with Perdue Farms are working on a new method of composting chicken waste in Delaware and on Maryland's Eastern Shore that could also control pollution.
The News Journal reports Perdue officials are seeking permission to add wood, water and hatchery waste to poultry litter. Perdue would recycle the litter at a Seaford-area site by heating the litter, forming it into pellets and selling it as fertilizer to farms.
“The entire point of this whole project is to take existing nutrients that are a byproduct of agriculture and contain them,” Ken Christenbury, an engineer working with Perdue, told the News Journal.
A second method would involve composting the litter under breathable fabric, turning it into nutrient-rich soil. Bacteria would be killed by heat.
Perdue presented its proposal to Sussex County planners as more environmentally friendly than the current method of spreading chicken waste on fields.
The effort drew praise from an environmental group, the Inland Bays Foundation, at a hearing Thursday.