A Fresh Veg Blog

Let’s Talk Trash

Mann's Green Team partnered with Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA) on conducting our Hansen Street waste audit.

December 2018

In a previous post, we shared a few of Mann Packing’s Green Team initiatives.

Martin, Operations Director at Fresh Leaf Farms, was tasked with sorting out wax boxes with the assistance of Guille, Resource Recovery Technician at SVSWA.

As we tiptoe towards 2019, we have some more ambitious New Year’s Resolutions. One of our goals is to elevate and expand our sustainability programs, as we want to do our part in protecting the land that allows us to bring fresh veggies to your table.

A couple of weeks ago, six of our Green Team members along with the good people at Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA) took on the challenge of conducting a waste audit….yes, we went dumpster diving, all in name of sustainability!

To move forward on our commitment to making genuine sustainability improvements, we needed a baseline. Which means…we needed data. The purpose of a waste audit is to identify the potential to divert materials from the landfill. A successful audit is conducted by sorting and separating materials then weighing to capture the data.

Ryan, Marketing Assistant, was tasked with weighing the materials and collecting all data.

For this audit, we sorted through 1 of our 30 yard cubic yard landfill dumpsters that was filled with a day’s worth of trash from our Hansen Street processing facility here in Salinas. With the help of Republic Services, our landfill dumpster was taken to our local dump at 8 am for sorting by our team.

During our 3 hours of sorting, our Green Team members became conscientious about the materials found in our waste stream. We found many items that could have been recycled, such as cardboard, plastic, wood pallets, and metal. We discovered a surprising amount of organic waste too, however, we do send a large majority of our culls waste to cattle farms as feed. For safety precautions, a small percentage of our culls waste must be sent to the landfill.

Un-used packaging was a common item found in our waste stream. Since this is considered “clean plastic” the material could have been recycled.

After sorting, it was time to crunch the numbers and see how we stacked up. The results indicated a lot of potential to increase diversion. We discovered and identified valuable items to recycle, training gaps, and items that could be reduced.

Siva, I.T Business Analyst, was tasked with collecting packaging labels.

 

Our Green Team is now ready to set our 2019 waste reduction goals and we challenge you to join in at home. Why not conduct your own waste audit? Where do you stack up in your own efforts? The simplest of changes can make a huge difference. For example, did you know that you should always wash out recyclable plastic containers (like our Nourish Bowls®) before placing in your recycling bins? Most recycling facilities will only accept “clean plastic” and reject anything contaminated with food.

It’s important that we all do our part in reducing the amount of waste by being alert and aware before placing items in the trash can.

For more information on recycling visit the EPA website:

https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics

 

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