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Harvest Power lands cash for compost, biogas

Hauler Waste Management and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins boost investment in Harvest Power, which is pursuing different technologies around food and yard waste.

Trash hauler Waste Management said on Monday it has invested an undisclosed sum in Harvest Power, a Boston-area company developing techniques for turning organic waste into energy or fertilizer.

Existing investors Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Munich Venture Partners also increased their investment in the company.

Harvest Power

Harvest Power already operates a facility in British Columbia that turns food and yard waste into compost. It also is developing anaerobic digester technology to produce biogas from those same wastes. The biogas can be burned in turbines to make electricity or heat. It can also be converted into compressed or liquefied natural gas, according to Waste Management.

The investment from Waste Management will help Harvest Power build more municipal facilities, company CEO Paul Sellew said in a statement. The city of San Jose, Calif., last year contracted with Harvest Power as part of a renewable-energy program (click for PDF) with a goal of collecting 150,000 tons of household organic waste to produce 900,000 gallons of biogas. It would be the first organic waste-to-biogas facility in the U.S., following a number in Europe.

Waste Management said it invested in the company to reach its corporate sustainability goals of increasing renewable-energy production, boosting recycling, and investing in waste management technologies. Waste Management has also invested in solar trash can maker Big Belly Solar and waste gasification company S4 Energy Solutions.