Snack Food Manufacturing

How to Prioritize Waste Stream Management

Let’s face it, waste stream management can be an afterthought for food manufacturers. True, it may not exactly be the most glamorous space, but it can be cutting-edge, and it is imperative to the future of our planet. In that respect, it might be the most glamorous of all jobs. But still, changing the ideology around sustainable food practices can prove to be a slow transition.

Green Field Solutions’ Commercial Manager, Tim Umbarger, shares about prioritizing food waste management systems and recycling. Here’s four ways he says companies can rethink and prioritize waste stream management:

4 ways to prioritize waste stream management

  • Rethink waste. Consider it first, not last.
  • Pursue alternatives. There are always options to trashing it.
  • Seek to save. Sustainability makes economic and environmental sense.
  • Call the experts. GFS excels at identifying unique solutions.

Why is it important to consider waste removal first?

Tim UmbargerWhen waste management systems precede activities such as building new facilities or launching new product lines, it saves time and money, not to mention headaches. As an afterthought, however, it can be costly and timely.

Recently, GFS was approached by a major candy producer to provide input into the construction of a new facility. Working with the company’s architects and engineers, we considered multiple scenarios for removing its sugary waste product from the new building. Helping them design a flow-path for their organic waste and recycling ensured plenty of space for the refuse-removing semi-trucks to get in and get their waste out.

Check out these other case studies for confectioners: One Chocolatier’s Sweet Recycling Solution, Complex Confectioner Needs Many Partners, Food Waste Management Strategies for Confectioners

How can food waste systems save or make companies money?

It is a myth that company profits and sustainability efforts are mutually exclusive. In fact, the amount of money food manufacturers spend on non-sustainable, short-term solutions is staggering. When GFS finds a solution, it improves food waste systems in ways that either saves or makes our clients money.

For example, we work with a company that produces drink mixes. As you can imagine, they flush an astronomical amount of water down the drain at a significant cost to the company. Because the material isn’t ideal for the municipality’s bio-digestion pond, the company incurred additional charges. GFS’s specific solution to their specific liquid waste need ultimately saved them money.

What alternatives are there to throwing food waste away?

We excel at finding solutions that have yet to be considered. We put boots on the ground when companies need us to find solutions to problems that exist, and we’re also there to help them avoid others that don’t yet exist. For example, we are working with a facility that is bringing on a new product line. Before the first snack food will ever be prepared, we’ve already identified what the waste will be and how to prepare for it. Problem solved before it happened!

There is always an alternative to throwing things away — animal feed, composting, etc. With endless possibilities, there are endless solutions.

Learn more about the alternative end uses for food waste.  

When should companies contact Green Field Solutions?

As their business evolves. As they adapt to changing markets with new products. As they expand to meet the increasing demand of a growing population. As they look for a better food waste system. And as they implement new strategies to comply with federal regulations or set zero-waste goals for organic, recycling, compost, waste-to-energy, etc. As a comprehensive solutions company, Green Field Solutions works with clients to identify what is important to them and focus attention to that goal, whether it is cost savings, revenue generation, sustainability or visibility.