In North Carolina, pig poop-derived biogas faces opposition

North Carolina’s rural residents have long complained about the thousands and thousands of pink-hued lagoons of pig manure and waste. During hurricanes, those lagoons break and overflow, and even in normal times, the waste can end up in waterways when it’s sprayed on fields as fertilizer. Plus, there’s the awful stench. So what’s the solution? Smithfield Foods, one of America’s largest pork companies, is pushing to use the poop as a source of renewable energy—specifically, by capturing the methane from lagoons, and transporting it through pipelines to a processing plant. Some residents and activists aren’t pleased. “It’s only renewable if pigs continue to poop,” a Duplin woman tells The Guardian. Marketing a pollutant as something that’s good for the planet? Sounds like greenwashing to us.

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