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Food Waste



Greg,

Although the title of your message identifies food waste as the target, it
appears from the given suggestions that the program also applies to
food-related waste.  Suggestion #1 is general enough to include most
avoidance and re-use options so I suggest your focus should be on expanding
options within this category.

Adding a category for "improving process efficiency", which could include
energy efficiency and formal management/environmental management system
improvements may be beneficial.  Applying monies in this area directly and
indirectly reduces waste generation, can improve overall worker and company
performance, increase reliability of production processes, and can advance
community development.
Relative to energy efficiency lighting upgrades, compressed air systems,
pumps & motors, HVAC (including boiler and steam systems), and effluent heat
recovery and reuse (from individual processes or the combined effluent) are
areas easily focused upon.  Management/environmental management system
development also has many options.  A company adopting ISO9001 or other
quality-focused management systems take a huge leap in overall performance.
Any quality-focused management system can incorporate environmental
standards and may eventually lead to ISO14000 or other formal EM systems.

Identification of pallets and packaging as areas for waste/material
avoidance or re-use (including container management) are great.  These
wastes/materials are a nuisance to most businesses.  I would however advise
against a packaging "take-back" program as being environmentally beneficial
without good supporting documentation.

Wastewater management would also be ideal as a separate category.  Food
processing operations are huge water users and often spend considerable
monies building pre-treatment systems and using chemicals (and energy) to
deal with what often begins as process inefficiency.  Although water reuse
is a sensitive issue in many food processing operations there is still
considerable room for overall improvement as well as options for reduction
and reuse within individual production steps/processes.
Some areas to advance may include; systems for re-circulation of non-contact
cooling water, spray and wash system improvement, and employee training
programs focused on water use reduction (especially related to equipment
cleaning).

One more item.  Category #1 also may suggest business developing a closer
relationship with farming operations.  Additional non-composting reuse
options exist in this area.