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Generate Capital expands into composting business with acquisition of Atlas Organics

A stopped organics sorting line
Atlas Organics' sorting line in San Antonio, Texas.

Atlas Organics, a developer and operator of commercial composting solutions based in the U.S. Southeast, today announced a transformational transaction aimed at expanding its operations nationwide in partnership with Generate Capital, a owner and operator of organic waste processing solutions and sustainable infrastructure in North America.  

Atlas Organics was founded by Joseph McMillin and Gary Nihart in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 2014, and currently operates eight food waste, biosolid and yard waste composting sites across six states, processing 365,000 tons of organic waste annually.

The transaction will provide over $200 million in financing for expansion of Atlas composting facilities in the coming years and Generate has taken ownership of Atlas' eight currently operated composting facilities. Atlas employs over 135 people across five Southeastern states and Atlas co-founders McMillin and Nihart will continue to lead the company. 

With this investment, Generate significantly expands its offerings in organic waste solutions, adding a high-growth platform for development of composting facilities. The transaction builds on Generate's extensive supplier and customer network and its track record as one of the largest processors of organic waste in North America. Generate's bio-digester facilities process over 250,000 tons of food waste a year, turning organic material into renewable natural gas, clean electricity and fertilizer.  

"Composting plays a pivotal role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while eliminating waste and supporting sustainable agriculture with chemical-free fertilizers," said Bill Caesar, president of Generate's waste-to-value operations. "The Atlas Organics team shares Generate's mission-driven approach to decarbonization and we see a tremendous opportunity to leverage the experience and capabilities of the Atlas team to build a significant platform for composting infrastructure development. This transaction perfectly complements our existing organic waste solutions, will create jobs and contribute to the fight against catastrophic climate change by expanding the circular economy and diverting waste from landfills." 

Atlas is already developing several new greenfield composting sites and was recently awarded the contract to build, own, and operate a composting facility for Salinas Valley, California as part of its effort to comply with SB 1383, a regulation that goes into force in 2022 that sets statewide targets to reduce the amount of organic waste disposed of in landfills.   

Atlas is also actively looking to acquire composting operations that complement its position in key markets.  

"We've built a solid platform for growth and a partner like Generate will help open the door to new opportunities and deliver on our nationwide expansion," said Joseph McMillin, chief executive of Atlas Organics. "We can focus on building and acquiring composting operations, developing our people, and delivering value to our customers knowing that we have the backing of a well-resourced and experienced team to support us."

Company info

156-B Magnolia St.
Spartanburg, SC
US, 29306

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560 Davis Street
Suite 250
San Fransisco, CA
US, 94111


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