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Oscar Mayer reduces waste treatment and energy costs with W4G


Problem: Faced with monthly effluent bills that had risen on average by more than 55%, with a peak monthly increase of 68%, Oscar Mayer contacted Waste4Generation (W4G) to provide an all round solution to the company’s waste challenges and see if anaerobic digestion technology would be viable.

Action: The first step involved trials to asses the feasibility and best W4G treatment process for separating FOG (fats, oils and grease), COD (chemical oxygen demand) and TSS (total suspended solids) from the effluent.

W4G’s separation approach is to use a concentrated feedstock, and a high rate process, reducing the retention time of the reactors to under 24 hours. Removes the need for the large storage tanks, required for effluent storage, and enabling a compact plant to be designed, making best use of available space on the site, allowing Oscar Mayer to treat their own waste and use their own renewable energy.

Data recorded on feeding regimes, and loading and removal rates achieved by the mobile demonstration plant throughout the feasibility study, allowed W4G to tailor the proposed plant; widening the scope of equipment supply, reducing the price and treating all of the waste on site.

Site inspections, carried out as part of the feasibility study, allowed W4G to make recommendations on water consumption and capturing high strength wastes, while assessing current treatment measures, and establishing performance. This resulted in the review of two systems that were in place and the identification of considerable potential cost savings with no effect on the effluent quality.

A trial of the digestibility of the waste streams on site was conducted using a mobile demonstration plant, which achieved results above initial predictions, with removal rates of over 95% and 76% methane composition in the biogas produced.

Results: After only one week on site, W4G was able to restrict the effluent bill rise to only 7% (below the 10% Wessex Water standard increase), at the same time as achieving the lowest Trade Effluent sample results sampled and analysed by Wessex Water in over a year. From the analysis of the effluent treatment, W4G have proved that installing this effluent treatment plant, with high-rate AD, is able to reduce Oscar Mayer’s effluent bills by 50%.

The initial savings from W4G’s first week on site paid for the entire feasibility study, with ongoing savings on Mogden bills.

The pre-treatment process and high-rate AD system is anticipated to deliver up to 20% of Oscar Mayer’s electricity requirement, over £260,000 annual revenue through FIT, and £70,000 from RHI and heat savings, at the same time as removing all the costs associated with solid food waste disposal, packaged waste disposal and significantly reduce the proportion of waste sent to landfill.

W4G’s recommendations offer a clear return on investment and will provide a sustainable route for Oscar Mayer’s waste as well as producing green energy. There is also the distinct possibility that the conditioned waste, whilst providing revenue from renewable energy and disposal savings, is now a desirable product that could demand a fee in the future.

All of this was achieved through a combination of effluent management, new sampling procedures and demonstration equipment. The total savings run into hundreds of thousands per annum with the conditioned waste used to provide renewable green energy, at the same time as enhancing green credentials of the site, especially to their major client’s and look to reduce environmental impact and the carbon footprint of food production on this site.

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