Representative of Pilgrim’s Pride explains rendering plant proposed for Gadsden

Company makes pitch for rendering plant in Gadsden

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Gadsden’s city council heard Tuesday from an executive of a company who wants to put a controversial animal rendering plant in the city.

Mark Glover, who heads the rendering division at Pilgrim’s Pride, says the plant would be state of the art and most of the activities would go in inside the plant, not outside.

Glover says the plant would be environmentally sound and put off very little odor, because a smelly plant wouldn’t attract many workers.

He says the plant wants to be good neighbors in Etowah, and would bring well paying jobs to the area.

“We’re going to pay probably a dollar to two dollars more than average Gadsden wage rate, from what I picked up. So who wins in this situation is the common worker is who wins,” Glover said in the council meeting.

Glover said the company makes pet food by boiling protein out of animal parts. Its customers include Smucker’s (Milkbone), Dad’s and Diamond.

Still, a number of residents who first heard about the proposal two weeks ago are not happy, saying the plant would bring odors to Etowah County.

Gadsden city councilors, however, say they plan to reserve judgement on the venture and the 90 jobs the $70 million project would bring.

Jason Wilson explained Gadsden didn’t recruit the industry itself, the state of Alabama did, and the Etowah County Commission want it on their mega site, but the company said paying for utilities at that site would be too expensive.

They say they plan to do what’s right for Gadsden.

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