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Correction: Composting Chicken Waste story

4/27/2013 8:00 PM
By Associated Press

SEAFORD, Del. (AP) — In a story April 26 about Perdue Farms Inc.'s plans for handling chicken waste, The Associated Press reported erroneously that engineers with the company were working on two new methods. In fact, only one method, that of using a breathable fabric to help compost the waste, is under development. Also, the engineers work for US AgriSoil, which is partnering with Perdue, not Perdue.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Perdue, partner developing way to compost chicken waste

Perdue Farms, partner developing way to compost, reuse chicken waste in Delaware

SEAFORD, Del. (AP) — Engineers working with Perdue Farms are working on a method of composting chicken waste in Delaware and on Maryland's Eastern Shore that could also control pollution.

Perdue already recycles litter at a Seaford-area plant by heating it, forming it into pellets and selling it as fertilizer to farms.

A second method that engineers for US AgriSoil, which is partnering with Perdue, are developing involves adding wood, water and hatchery waste to poultry litter. It would then compost the material under breathable fabric that would let water vapor escape, allow air in and keep rainwater out. The process would turn the material into a nutrient-rich product for adding to soil. Bacteria would be killed by the heat of decomposition.

Perdue presented the method to the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission as more environmentally friendly than a current method of spreading chicken waste on fields.

"The entire point of this whole project is to take existing nutrients that are a byproduct of agriculture and contain them," said engineer Ken Christenbury of US AgriSoil.

The effort drew praise from an environmental group, the Inland Bays Foundation, at a hearing Thursday. Board member Doug Parham called the idea of waterproof, breathable fabric stretched over piles of compost "a potentially elegant solution" to poultry industry pollution.

Neighbors of the composting plant said they are concerned the process could increase bad odors. Perdue officials said the composting fabric would help control odors and that a building used to receive litter would have an air filter.


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