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Hair & Hooves



    
    We deal with a meat packer (cows) where all bones and guts go into 
    their rendering plant.  Proper blending/cooking results in the 
    production bone meal and tallow.  The hooves are included in the 
    process.
    
    I'm told pig hooves can be similarly processed.  Pig hooves (or 
    parts of them I'm told) are pickled.  I'm awaiting additional 
    information (and will pass it along) on another method for 
    processing pig hooves...washing, "cooking", and bleaching...for an 
    undetermined usage (this one "got my goat" when I heard they 
    didn'y know why).  This method was reportedly rejected as overly 
    water-intensive.
    
    Hair from cow hides generally stays on the hide and is marketed 
    for leather production.  Hides are most frequently brine 
    soaked/washed for preservation purposes (although there are 
    reportedly less polluting methods to chemically preserve hides).  
    (The meat packer I mentioned reported they never add water to 
    their brine operation due to the water generated from the 
    hides...some water however eventually needs to be removed.  The 
    problem eventually becomes an issue for tanneries...their first 
    steps being to wash the salt from the hide and de-hair (generally 
    lime is used).
    In the case of porkers, I understand the hair comes off as an 
    initial part of the butchering process...I assume the hair waste 
    is similar to cow hair waste and may share similar uses, as 
    follows (please correct me if I'm off-base).
    We have three vegetable tanneries.  Originally, hair waste was 
    landfilled.  These tanneries now have aproval to land apply (often 
    for mine reclamation projects) waste water treatment sludges and 
    have been able to incorporate the hair waste into the sludge...I 
    assume the hair serves as a soil amendment (a nutrient or a 
    bulking agent) possibly/mainly due to the pH (resulting from the 
    lime removal process).
    I would guess the pig butchering process does not use lime for 
    hair removal, but would look toward what they do with waste water 
    treatment sludge anyway as a possibility, pending resulting 
    chemistry (I hope they don't burn that!!).
    Another opportunity may involve composting the hair with pen 
    cleanings and paunch manure (and perhaps even ground waste 
    cardboard).  The completed compost should find several possible 
    uses.
       
    Ric
    illig.richard@a1.dep.state.pa.us