Agriculture waste may not be pleasant but some entities have found a purpose and are being rewarded for their ideas.

The Washington State Department of Commerce is funding four projects to develop beneficial uses for industrial waste. The Industrial Symbiosis Program, in its second year, funds a variety of projects from research and development to implementation.

The grants for the four projects announced totals $850,000 and are spread across the state of Washington.

Cascadia Produce, located in Auburn, will receive the largest grant of $250,000. They will use the funds to make a retail rejection hub and distribution center for rescued food, and develop an online marketplace to serve as a market outlet to an expanded number or organizations with direct access to rescued food.

The next award will go to Washington State University in Pullman. The grant amount of $235,817 is planned to be used on manufacturing biochar from waste biomass like forestry residue and municipal bio solids, and incorporate it into concrete to develop durable, carbon-negative alternative for the construction sector.

Qualterra in Cheney is set to receive $206,857 for their project, to turn downstream material from Washington industries into a useful biochar product to bolster crop and soil health. The study looks to help the symbiotic relationships with industries aiming to recycle biomass waster streams, as well as with growers and farmers seeking to produce crops in a profitable environmentally sustainable way.

The smallest grant will go to Waste Loop in Leavenworth. The $157,326 would help develop the Wenatchee Valley Reuse Innovation Center, with the goal of promoting circular economy by diverting waste from landfills and encourage the repurposing of materials into beneficial reuse through direct resale or value-added production.

More information is available at the Washington State Department of Commerce's Industrial Symbiosis website.

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