Tyson Foods used a waste management system to ensure waste stayed out of landfills, and as a result six of its plants have been recognized for those efforts.
The plants achieved Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWTL) gold level validation by the Environmental Claim Validation Procedure. The Tyson facilities were recognized for reducing the production of all by-products like animal fats, hides and inedible proteins, and for using the waste management system to reuse or recycle its remaining by-products, which also helped increase the plants’ efficiency.
The plants, which are located in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Georgia, earned the status by diverting 95% to 99% of their waste from landfills. The company says by reducing the waste it has also cut greenhouse gas emissions through the reduction of energy use needed to create new materials.
Tyson Foods says the waste management system was designed and integrated to ensure resources were used to the greatest extent possible. Tyson says by reducing its dependence on landfills it will also help the company cut costs.
Waste management systems can be a key part of sustainability efforts, such as Rubicon Technologies’ digital recycling and waste management platform that is helping businesses like SRS Distribution and cities like Houston with improvements. In Atlanta, State Farm Arena has diverted more than 1 million pounds of waste from landfills as it strives to become a zero waste arena.
To achieve ZWTL targets, each location identifies methods for handling waste in innovative ways to avoid disposal at landfills. The validation process provides criteria for how to dispose of materials such as packaging, compost, liquids and food.
The zero waste effort is part of Tyson Food’s ESG targets, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% through 2030, lowering water use intensity and developing sustainable packaging. The company says it plans to have more of its facilities achieve zero waste validation.