US Poultry Processors Recognised for Cutting Environmental Impact

US - The US Poultry & Egg Association has recognised Koch Foods and Tyson Foods with Clean Water Awards.
calendar icon 26 September 2014
clock icon 4 minute read

Koch Foods of Gadsden, Alabama and Tyson Foods of Wilkesboro, North Carolina have been awarded the US Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) 2014 Clean Water Award.

Presented annually, the award recognises exemplary performance at water reclamation facilities serving the poultry industry.

The presentations were made during USPOULTRY’s Environmental Management Seminar in Destin, Florida, and the winners were selected by a committee of industry engineers and managers, university personnel and retired state regulatory officials.

Awards are presented in two categories, full treatment and pretreatment. The full treatment category covers facilities that fully reclaim wastewater prior to discharge into a receiving stream or final land application system. The pretreatment category includes facilities that discharge pretreated effluent to publicly-owned, full treatment facilities. To be eligible, a facility must have a minimum of two years of no significant non-compliances or notices of violations or any other type of enforcement action.

Koch Foods’ Gadsden facility processes 400,000 birds per day and treats an average wastewater flow of one million gallons per day. The facility’s covered anaerobic lagoon provides odour control and traps methane gas. Not only does this reduce the plant’s carbon footprint, but the gas is a source of green energy utilised and burned in the plant’s boiler unit.

One highlight of Koch Foods’ operation is the facility’s water reuse programme. Inside the plant, water used to chill and rinse the birds is cleaned and sent back to be reused in other areas. Koch Foods has also installed an additional Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) unit that reduces the concentration of phosphorus in the final effluent to less than 1mg per litre. Koch Foods captures and treats stormwater run-off before discharging it, allowing it to achieve very low stormwater effluent bacterial levels.

Tyson Foods Fresh Retail Division Wilkesboro complex is made up of a poultry processing plant capable of processing two million birds per week and a food service plant producing primarily fabricated fully cooked products for restaurant and international customers. The complex’s wastewater facility treats an average flow of two and half million gallons per day.

One focal point of the complex’s operation is the facilities water reuse program in which one and a half million gallons of water used to wash birds is cleaned and recycled back into various areas of the facility. To address the potential presence of bacteria in stormwater run-off, trenches have been constructed across the live haul and dust collector areas to divert stormwater to the wastewater treatment plant.

The Tyson Foods' processing facility recently constructed additional stormwater collection pits to catch run-off from live sheds and receiving areas to provide additional treatment of stormwater run-off that comes in contact with live animal handling areas.

Wayne Farms, Danville, Arkansas, and Tyson Foods River Valley Animal Foods, Scranton, Arkansas, received honourable mention in the full treatment category. Fieldale Farms, Gainesville, Georgia, received honourable mention in the pretreatment category.

USPOULTRY chairman Elton Maddox of Wayne Farms, Oakwood, Georgia, said: “The poultry industry is well-recognised for its leadership in conserving natural resources. “USPOULTRY continues to highlight the importance of environmental stewardship by identifying excellence in environmental programs at our member companies, while also offering technical assistance and training in environmental management to our members.

“We would like to congratulation these five companies for their excellent work,” he added.

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