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Start-up raises $51.7M to turn your food waste into energy

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Renewable energy start-up Harvest Power has raised US$51.7M in series B funding to expand its operations in North America. The company generates energy from food and yard waste.

Harvest Power has developed anaerobic digestion technologies to extract gas from bio waste.

A cadre of investors is betting that there are big bucks in your garbage. Harvest Power, a Massachusetts based renewable energy start-up, announced today that it has just raised US$51.7 million in Series B financing.

Harvest Power converts bio waste -- including food scraps and yard waste – into energy at its facility in Vancouver. The facility utilizes an anaerobic digestion technology to extract methane from the waste – essentially mimicking nature.

“Investors recognize our platform as the smart, cost-effective choice for managing organic waste,” Paul Sellew, CEO of Harvest said in a prepared statement.

“Communities trust us to carry their organic management plans forward and provide local renewable energy and nutrient rich soil amendments with disposal costs lower than landfills,” Sellew added.

Generation Investment Management led the round, a company founded by Al Gore. DAG Ventures and Keating Capital also participated along with pre-existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Munich Venture Partners, TriplePoint Capital, and Waste Management.

Harvest Power has raised a gross total of $70M from investors. It intends to use it latest financing to develop new technologies and expand its platform throughout North America, according to the company.

I’ve marveled at how much food is wasted around me in Manhattan; there’s a near endless fuel supply for companies like Harvest Power. An entire subculture has risen around reclaiming food from dumpsters.

I suppose it’s better that waste be repurposed than be sent out of state on barges to rot in landfills. The challenge would be getting New Yorkers to separate food waste from their trash (everything in my building ends up being throw by residents down a chute into a compactor despite management's pleas to recycle).

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure