Solid Waste Management

Our goal is to reduce solid waste to landfills by 10 percent when normalized for production by the end of fiscal year 2011 using fiscal year 2006 as a benchmark. Our solid waste reduction goal emphasizes the importance of eliminating waste at its source. We continue to promote our recycling efforts to maximize the amount of waste that we eliminate from landfills.

In 2010, our U.S. operations sent 4,200 fewer tons of solid waste to landfills than the previous year. Since 2006, we have reduced our total waste by 28 percent, when normalized for production levels. To date, we are diverting more than 74 percent of waste from the landfill through recycling and the land spreading of byproducts, which are used as a soil nutrient by farmers. Approximately half of our turkey litter is sent to an electric production facility in central Minnesota as biomass fuel. The remaining turkey litter is used by farmers as a replacement for chemical fertilizers.

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Our plants have taken the initiative to reduce solid waste produced from their operations. Here are two examples:

Fremont Solid Waste Reduction, Fremont, NE: In order to help meet the company goal, the plant set out to reduce the solid waste to landfill by 10 percent from fiscal year 2009. In pursuit of this goal, the team installed equipment to hydrolyze solid waste and increased awareness of recycling at the plant with a poster campaign. Finally, the plant selected a supplier to receive and apply agricultural nutrients through land spreading application. As a result, the Fremont facility met and surpassed its aggressive goal and reduced solid waste to landfill by 17 percent in 2010.

Farmer John Composting, Vernon, CA: The team at Farmer John decreased solid waste by 800 tons by diverting various materials to composting and land spreading. Materials included woodchips and casings.


We continue to work toward the long-term goal of maximizing our recycling effort. We look for opportunities to increase recycling of difficult materials such as meat casings, vat covers and liners and packaging film scrap.

Our recycling rate for all of our manufacturing facilities is 41 percent of our total waste. We are confident that our culture of continuous improvement will encourage our employees to develop new recycling opportunities.

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