Plant Chicago leads public and private tours of The Plant, where visitors can see first-hand the incredible impact of a circular economy in action.

Reserve your space on a public tour

Not long ago, The Plant was an abandoned 93,500 square foot industrial space and former meatpacking plant.

Now it’s a larger-than-life experiment and working model for closing waste, resource and energy loops. The facility will eventually divert over 10,000 tons of food waste from landfills each year, while providing enough electricity to power over 250 homes.

During your tour, you’ll see some of our closed-loop tech demonstration projects up close, like an aquaponics farm and algae bioreactor. You can also view food production spaces for tenants at The Plant, including a brewery, British-style bakery, mushroom farm and others.

10,000

tons of food waste will be diverted from landfills each year

Plan Your Visit

Tours last about one hour. They are open to all ages, but be aware: The Plant is still undergoing construction. Please keep this mind when touring with children under 7.

Cost

  • Students & Seniors: $7
  • Adults: $10
  • Back of the Yards Residents: Free

Public Tours

We lead public tours every Saturday at 2pm.

On Farmers Market days, there are two public tours, beginning at 11:30am and 2pm.

Reserve your space on a public tour

Group Tours

Group tours can be arranged Tuesday-Saturday, depending on availability. For more information on booking and pricing a tour for your group, please contact tours@plantchicago.org

>5,000

people toured The Plant in 2015

current tech demonstration projects

Algae Bioreactor

An efficient method for processing waste, the bioreactor produces Spirulina, a fast-growing and nutritious algae—perfect for our homemade fish food.  We're using waste from the shrimp farm on site, The Salty Prawn.

Aquaponics Farm

Aquaculture and hydroponics combine, allowing us to raise fish and produce without soil, using the fish waste to fertilize plants. We’ve been experimenting with homemade fish food recipes, using biomaterials produced on site to increase nutrition and lower costs. We're using spent grains from the brewer on site, Whiner Brewery, as a source of food for our fish.

Miniature Anaerobic Biodigester

Anaerobic digestion is a highly efficient, low-oxygen method for converting organic matter like food waste into biofuel. We feed our miniature digester kitchen scraps to test feedback ratios and gas production and gauge the scalability of the process.

Black Soldier Fly Compost

Voracious eaters, Black Soldier Flies happily feed on kitchen scraps and produce larvae which we can harvest and use in our fish food.

Mushroom Farm

We grow several varieties of hard-to-find, gourmet mushrooms using repurposed materials, like an old grocery store freezer rewired to provide heat and humidity. Visitors can purchase our mushrooms at our on-site farmer’s market.