A Dumpster Dive Into Waste Streams


Not all recycling programs are created equal. And for sustainable food companies looking to reduce waste in the food processing industry, an effective inorganic recycling program is indispensable.

In the case of one dry food ingredient manufacturer, the lack of a complete recycling program proved costly. Because the company was unable to divert its inorganic by-products — like ingredient bags, cardboard and plastic film — from the waste compactor, it could not earn revenue from the materials. The mid-sized company generates more than 600,000 pounds of ingredient bags and 72,000 pounds of plastic film, annually. Those materials were going to the local landfill at a cost to the company, rather than being recycled at a value to the company.


The right solution for food industry waste disposal always starts with a deep dive into what goes into the trash — some may call it a “dumpster dive.” For this client, a comprehensive audit revealed that while the food manufacturer was collecting some recyclable materials, most ended up in waste compactors or collected by a mix recycling trailer. After the dive, GFS formulated a customized recycling plan and established the company’s first, full recycling program.

As part of the program, GFS supplied waste processing equipment, including an adequate number of balers to manage all of the company’s recycling streams. The new balers eliminated the cumbersome process of breaking down boxes, putting them in gaylords, transporting them to on-site storage and offloading them only when a full load was attained. Now, the company simply bales its cardboard at the point of generation.


Green Field Solutions implemented a recycling program that simplified its client’s operational processes, significantly reduced its expenses and lessened its carbon footprint. Today, the company has more sustainable food waste management processes and equipment, resulting in:

  • Reduced material sent to landfill by approximately 75%
  • Reduced landfill fees by more than $150,000
  • Cleared 20,000 square feet of warehouse space

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