Why Your Trash is Worth $33 Million

Awareness about responsible waste management has been on the rise over the years, but now it is on fire. In fact, it is 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Startup Sierra Energy, which vaporizes trash in order to produce clean energy and fuel, recently raised $33 million in a Series A investment round.

The company heats trash with a technology called FastOx. It uses a blast furnace and pure oxygen to create a chemical gas reaction with the waste’s carbon. The gas is also reusable for electricity, renewable diesel, ethanol and fertilizer, according to Sierra Energy. If trash is left untreated, it breaks down and releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that the company says is 84 times more climate-warming than CO2.

Investors in the company include billionaires Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff and Richard Branson, according to Fast Company. The investment round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

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