Spokane bakery achieves 100% landfill-free status with help from Sunshine Disposal
Monday, June 16, 2014
Bakery draws line, achieves 100 percent landfill-free status
Source: The Spokesman-Review (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/jun/14/bakery-draws-line-achieves-100-percent-landfill/)
It’s barbecue season, so workers and conveyor systems at Franz
Bakery whirled at a frantic pace Thursday to package thousands of
One byproduct was missing: production waste.
this spring, the Spokane Valley facility at 110 N. Fancher Road has
adopted a sweeping recycle and reuse program to reduce trash
significantly for all its operations, which make multiple lines of
sandwich breads, buns and rolls. Franz’s bakery goods go to stores,
restaurants and food service companies throughout Eastern Washington,
North Idaho and Western Montana.
Operating since 1972, the
110,000-square-foot plant is the first among nine Franz bakeries in the
Northwest to reach 100 percent landfill-free status, said general
manager Tim Harper. He said the family-owned company, based in Portland,
is challenging all its sites to reduce waste in a big way.
nine months of studying ways to narrow its trash stream, the bakery in
February launched a comprehensive recycling program that includes
packaging waste, scrap metal from dented baking pans, used fleet truck
auto oil, discarded bread bags, office paper and cardboard.
Spokane Valley bakery, which employs 450, contracts with Sunshine
Disposal & Recycling for its solid waste services, Harper said. This
spring, Sunshine began collecting and recycling items the plant had
previously discarded, including bread bags with minor defects or the few
that fall to the production floor.
Sunshine also collects the
plant’s paper goods, plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Trash is still
generated – Sunshine takes it to the Waste-to-Energy Plant, Harper said.
“We probably cut it at least 50 percent.”
Because the business is privately held, he declined to say what the total amounts are.
installed automatic hand dryers in heavily used areas of the bakery so
workers required to wash their hands don’t need paper towels.
now recycle used auto oil through an auto parts store. They also filter
the bakery equipment lubricant oil to reuse as fuel for an
EPA-certified heater in the company’s fleet shop, used for maintaining
the facility’s fleet of about 40 delivery trucks.
sent in ideas or met team goals to reduce waste have received $25 bonus
awards, called “war bonds” as part of the plant’s War on Waste campaign,
Harper said some ideas included modifications to
equipment as well as more efficient production line practices. Large,
wheeled recycle bins now stand ready near equipment so employees working
on the fast-paced production lines can quickly tuck away recyclables,
including cardboard from packaging material.
“We did some
recycling before, but the most difficult thing to deal with was the
plastics – the bags, the bread ties, pallet shrink-wrap,” Harper said.
“So much of what we do is fast-paced, so getting the bins closer and
strategically positioned so people have the opportunity to recycle is
probably the biggest thing.”
Ken Gimpel, the city of Spokane’s
assistant utilities director, said it’s difficult for businesses to get
all the way to zero waste. Some companies such as Franz come closer with
internal policies to reuse and recycle materials, Gimpel added.
in this industry is always working on it,” Gimpel said. “There might be
a waste exchange where one business’s byproduct could be a feedstock
for another industry. Things like that help with certain types of
byproducts, but it’s still pretty challenging to get to zero waste.”