Merced company turns almond shell waste into fertilizer

It's a recipe designed to help fight climate change and assist the Central Valley's agricultural economy.
MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- One Central Valley company is going green by taking almond shells and turning them into plant food.

Mike Woelk, CEO of Corigin in Merced, said his company uses a process known as pyrolysis.

It's a recipe Woelk says helps fight climate change and assist the Central Valley's agricultural economy.

Corigin opened in April. The business has since helped divert tons of almond shells from becoming waste.

"We process agricultural waste, primarily nutshells, but potentially all kinds of farmers waste into high-value organic inputs," Woelk said.

"Better for the environment, more income for our farmers, and really important green manufacturing jobs here in the Valley," said Rep. Josh Harder (R-Turlock).

Agricultural waste is usually burned, but with the state's plan to phase down burn days by 2025, officials say pyrolysis may offer a better alternative.

This may also help drive down agricultural costs because farmers would rely less on synthetic fertilizer.

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