Harvest Power

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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

Harvest Power is an organic waste management company with locations in Massachusetts, Washington and Canada. Al Gore’s investment firm, Generation Investment Management, led a $51.7 million Series B investment in Harvest Power Inc. in March 2011[1] [2] The company also has financial backing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.[3]

Involvement with the Toxic Sludge Industry

Harvest Power claims that it "manage[s] organic waste streams," including "Foodwaste, biosolids, wood waste and yard waste."[4]

"Biosolids" is the Orwellian PR euphemism for toxic sewage sludge.

A list of just some of the hazardous chemicals and pathogens found in sludge can be found in the article Sludge contaminants. Sludge contaminants include Dioxins and Furans, Flame Retardants, Metals, Organochlorine Pesticides, 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), Naphthalene, Triclosan, Nonylphenols, Phthalates, Nanosilver, and thousands more substances. "Sewage is the mix of water and whatever wastes from domestic and industrial life are flushed into the sewer. ... We must note that, though the aim of sewage treatment is to produce clean water, it is never to produce 'clean' sludge. Indeed, the 'dirtier' the sludge - the more complete its concentration of the noxious wastes - the more the treatment has done its job. ... very waste produced in our society that can be got rid of down toilets and drains and that can also be got out of the sewage by a given treatment process will be in the sludge. Sludge is thus inevitably a noxious brew of vastly various and incompatible materials unpredictable in themselves and in the toxicity of their amalgamation, incalculably but certainly wildly dangerous to life." [5]

Support for Growing Food in Toxic Sludge

Harvest Power claims that it "[d]ivert[s] organic waste out of landfills" by "composting" it and for "soil enrichment" in "food production."[4] According to the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network, food should not be grown in "biosolids."[4] See the Toxic Sludge Portal for more.

According to Sludge News, "[t]he policy of disposing of sludge by spreading it on agricultural land - a policy given the benign term 'land application' - has its inception in the Ocean Dumping ban of 1987. Before 1992, when the law went into effect, the practice had been, after extracting the sludge from the wastewater, to load it on barges and dump it 12, and later 106 miles off shore into the ocean. But many people who cared about life in the ocean knew that, wherever it was dumped, the sludge was causing vast dead moon-scapes on the ocean floor. New EPA regulations for 'land application' were promulgated in 1993. With the aid of heating and pelletizing and some slippery name morphs along the way, EPA claimed sludge could be transmogrified into 'compost' ... . But the land “application” of sewage sludge ... will pollute the whole chain of life for which soil is the base." [6]

Toxic Sludge Gasification Controversy

A Harvest Power blog explains, "Biomass. It’s everywhere. It refers to organic materials used as renewable energy sources. Wood, crops and 'organic waste' – itself a catchall that includes everything from food scraps and yard debris to manure and biosolids from waste water treatment plants – can be classified as biomass."[7]

EPA whistleblower Hugh Kaufman has called gasification, or using sludge to generate methanol or energy, the "most environmentally sound approach, but also the most expensive," to sludge disposal. However, anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, while it reduces the volume of the sludge and heats it to a temperature that kills many pathogens, still leaves behind what the industry calls "digestate" or, more specifically in this case, "biosolids." These "Class A Biosolids" (so-called because the Environmental Protection Agency has stricter limits on pathogens and "vector attraction" for Class A than for Class B Biosolids, i.e. they must not attract disease-carrying insects or rodents, etc.) still contain other sludge contaminants, including Dioxins and Furans, Flame Retardants, Metals, Organochlorine Pesticides, 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane (DBCP), Naphthalene, Triclosan, Nonylphenols, Phthalates, Nanosilver, and thousands more substances.

Exhibitor at the 2011 BioCycle 11th Annual Conference on "Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling"

Harvest Power was an exhibitor at the 2011 BioCycle 11th Annual Conference on "Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling." BioCycle Magazine is a publication serving the interests of the sewage sludge industry.[8]


Harvest Power, Inc.
221 Crescent Street, Suite 402
Waltham, MA, 02453
Office: 781-314-9500
Email: info@harvestpower.com
Web: http://www.harvestpower.com/

Board of Directors

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles


  1. Harvest Power overview, Harvest Power website, Accessed June 16, 2011.
  2. The Daily Start-Up: Al Gore Takes Money Out Of The Lockbox, The Wall Street Journal, Accessed June 16, 2011.
  3. John Lorinc, Turning Organic Waste Into Energy, New York Times Green blog, June 19, 2009, updated June 22, 2009, accessed November 8, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Steve Aujla and Dieter Geesing, Harvest Power, Current Realities for Anaerobic Digestion: Incorporating High Solids Anaerobic Digestion into an Existing Composting Facility, presentation at the CCC Workshop in Vancouver, BC, February 08, 2011, accessed November 8, 2011
  5. About Sewage Sludge, SludgeNews.com, Accessed June 18, 2010.
  6. About Sewage Sludge, SludgeNews.com, accessed June 18, 2010
  7. Harvest Power, How do you classify biomass? The debate goes on, corporate blog, June 23, 2010, accessed November 8, 2011
  8. BioCycle, Exhibitor Directory, publisher's website, accessed November 3, 2011
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