The food, beverage, and agricultural industries transform raw ingredients into the delicious and useful products on which consumers rely. However, this process also produces undesirable wastes that are often difficult and expensive to treat and/or dispose of. The most cost effective method for dealing with this waste is to minimize the amount that is actually generated.
A waste minimization program begins with a plant-wide audit, during which production and sanitation activities are observed, employees are interviewed, and all water users and waste generators are identified. Sampling and analytical testing are used to identify and characterize specific water and waste streams. Unit factors derived from the characterization data are compared to an industry-wide database to determine where the facility ranks in terms of water usage and waste generation.
Based on audit results and subsequent analysis, waste minimization opportunities with acceptable paybacks are recommended for implementation. Plant-wide employee training sessions are developed to ensure awareness of waste issues and address the concerns of the staff.
The implementation of a waste minimization program will produce results that improve the production plant’s bottom line; our wastewater minimization clients have reported savings of $30,000 to $350,000. In addition, it may eliminate the need for any wastewater treatment.