RANTOUL, Ill. – Earlier this week during a Rantoul Village Board study session, officials with Rantoul Foods pork processing plant announced it plans to build a rendering facility on their property that will eliminate sludge that is stockpiled and spread on fields south of the plant. Construction of a $10 million rendering plant could start this winter and be completed by late 2014. Kurt Irelan, construction manager, said the company hopes to "get in the ground this fall" and begin erecting panels in the winter.

James Jendruczek, Rantoul Foods president, said his company had planned to build the rendering plant, but not so soon, however recent complaints by neighbors made this construction project a priority. Neighbors have complained of a strong odor south of the facility from sludge produced by the plant that has been stockpiled and spread over fields by a farmer. Not only did the residents complain about the offensive odor, but they also objected to the huge number of flies and potential health effects.

The company has taken steps to reduce the odor, including treating particulates from the plant with lime, until the rendering process goes online, Jendruczek said. He added the rendering plant, or byproduct recovery system, is a long-term solution that will take care of the particulates.

Meadowbrook Farms originally opened the plant in 2004, but closed it in 2009 due to financial reasons. New Owner, Trim-Rite opened the plant in 2011. At one time, Meadowbrook had a rendering plant in its plans, but it was never built, Jendruczek explained. The rendering plant will produce a byproduct of ash that will be used in dog food, and lard from hog fat. It will also create hot water steam that will be used to sterilize the plant's cutting room and floors.
Keith Strunk, Rantoul Foods consultant, said the company plans to also purchase a $700,000 pollution control system. Among other things, the offal will be piped overhead from the plant to the rendering plant cooker.