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Food waste upcycling company to open $8M Lee County facility

Jason Thomas //January 17, 2023//

Food waste upcycling company to open $8M Lee County facility

Jason Thomas //January 17, 2023//

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A company that upcycles food processing plant waste products is establishing operations in Lee County.

The Upcycle Co., a provider of services to upcycle fats, oils, proteins and nutrient-dense fertilizer from food processing plant waste, will open a facility in Bishopville, according to a news release from the South Carolina governor’s office.

The company’s approximately $8 million investment will create 22 new jobs over the next five years, the release stated.

Located at 261 Myers Lane in Bishopville, The Upcycle Co.’s Lee County facility is its first South Carolina location, according to the release. The new facility is a partnership between The Upcycle Co. and Belger Farms, a family-run farm with a long history of utilizing organic residuals as a supplemental fertilizer.

Under the partnership, The Upcycle Co. is establishing a treatment facility at Belger Farms that will extract the oils from these residuals, yielding a valuable co-product with end-uses in the fertilizer, cosmetics, energy, animal feed industries and others, the release stated. The remaining organic materials will provide an even higher quality supplemental fertilizer for use on this farm and others in the region.

“Lee County is proximate to many of the plants that generate the source materials that we can upcycle into a range of valuable co-products,” The Upcycle Co. CEO Dewey Burke said in the release. “Working with Belger Farms, Lee County and the state of South Carolina has made the establishment of our operations very easy, enabling us to bring the benefits of upcycling at scale to the region.”

The Upcycle Co. serves the animal harvest, food production and further processing industries that generate wastewater high in fats, oils and proteins, the release stated. The company’s advanced, patent-pending, proprietary fat and oil extraction technology efficiently separates the oils and protein solids, upcycling them into valuable co-products for beneficial use.

Upcycling reduces the use of wastewater treatment chemicals, promotes sustainability and enables companies to enhance environmental practices to help meet environmental, social and governance commitments, the release stated.

Operations are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded a $50,000 Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Lee County to assist The Upcycle Co.with site preparation, the release stated.