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Reducing Fonterra's Landfill Rubbish by 75%

Fonterra's Aims to Reduce The Company's Landfill Rubbish by 75%

Fonterra aims to reduce the volume of rubbish it sends to the country's landfills by 75% over the next 18 months through its new 'Eco-Efficiency Programme.'

Spring Humphreys, Fonterra's eco-efficiency manager based at Whareroa, says the Company's drive to maximise manufacturing efficiency is what kick-started the programme.

"Through further processing, Fonterra has become an expert at taking by-products, such as whey, and turning them into saleable commodities," he says. "Now, our Eco-Efficiency Programme is focusing on what happens when the manufacturing process finishes."

Several of Fonterra's Operations sites have started to identify where, how and how much waste is generated and how it can be reduced and recycled. Dairy plants are being encouraged to share with one another the good practices already in place at various sites, which can be copied throughout the company.

Humphreys says a lot of the initiatives identified will make recycling economically, as well as environmentally, rewarding. "For instance, recycling cardboard is sometimes less cost-effective than sending it to a landfill. However, if we install a baler on site we get a better price per tonne, and reduce our transport costs."

Humphreys, who had designed a successful pallet-recycling programme for the company, was given the job earlier this year of designing the Eco-Efficiency Programme.

Under the programme, each Fonterra site will boast an eco-efficiency team, made up of a representative from each department under the leadership of a site champion. Teams have already come up with innovative ideas such as recycling waste plastic into truck mud-flaps.

Humphreys says company staff are determined to achieve not only the initial 75% reduction, but also the ambitious goal of reducing Fonterra's landfill waste by 90% over the next four years.

"Its good for the company, but its also good for our communities. As Fonterra achieves these goals, we can help extend the life of landfills all around the country."

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