Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC, the first-ever, large-scale litter-pelletizing operation, is located in Sussex County, Delaware, centered in one of the country's most-concentrated areas of poultry production.
While the close proximity of hundreds of poultry farms ensures a steady supply of raw material, the plant's location also demonstrates Perdue's commitment to the family farm and the environment. Perdue invested more than $13 million in Perdue AgriRecycle because many Delmarva poultry producers - especially those with smaller farms - needed an alternative to traditional land application of poultry litter. Perdue AgriRecycle provides that alternative, and helps to protect the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay and coastal inland bays.
Perdue AgriRecycle can process the equivalent of 400 poultry houses worth of litter each year. Perdue AgriRecycle also participates in litter relocation programs, further reducing excess nutrients on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Perdue AgriRecycle started operation in 2001, making Perdue Incorporated the first poultry company to implement a large-scale, environmentally sound alternative use for litter.
The Perdue AgriRecycle Process
The Perdue AgriRecycle process begins at the farm, where surplus poultry litter is loaded into specially designed, sealed trucks for transport to our 65,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The trucks are unloaded inside the plant, where a negative-air system prevents dust and odor from escaping to the environment. (The same negative-air system is used in the finished product storage area.) Special filters and scrubbers ensure that the air leaving the plant is cleaner than the outside air.
Raw material is heated and pasteurized, removing moisture and destroying bacteria and weed seed. The dried material is then reduced to a powder before it is transferred to the pellet mill.
Moisture captured in the drying step is re-used in the pelletizing process. The finished product, an OMRI-listed organic fertilizer, is then stored in an enclosed warehouse room.
Product can be shipped by truck or rail or easily transferred to Perdue Incorporated's nearby barge dock or to the company's deep-water international port in Chesapeake, Virginia. Our plant can produce 80,000 tons of finished products per year.
Everything about our process, from our dedicated fleet of truck trailers to our fully-enclosed plant, was designed to maintain the highest possible levels of biosecurity.
- We inspect each farm and take samples for analysis before agreeing to accept litter from any producer.
- All litter is transported in our own fleet of specially designed, fully enclosed leak-proof trailers.
- Trucks and equipment are cleaned, disinfected and inspected prior to going to another poultry farm.
- Farm trucks are not received at the plant.
- All litter is stored in the fully enclosed plant; no litter is stored outside. The state veterinary officer has the authority to cease all litter movements in the event of a poultry disease outbreak.