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Frito-Lay Asks Town for $600k to Aid Water Efficiency, Automation

Frito-Lay is asking the town of Vancouver, Wash., for $585,000 in water bill credits over three years, to enable its local plant to make $15 million to $25 million in investments, The (Clark County, Wash.) Columbian reports.

The company says the investments will include water efficiency projects as well as automation designed to keep it competitive. Frito-Lay says that without the equipment, the plant might have to close.

But the automation measures at the 500-employee facility, which makes Doritos, Cheetos, potato chips and popcorn, will also cause layoffs, according to Vancouver business development director Alisa Pyszka.

The plan before city leaders proposes crediting the company with $195,000 a year for three years. Frito-Lay expects that its water bill will be between $150,000 and $200,000 a year after the installation of efficiency equipment.

In October Frito-Lay opened a “near net zero” plant in Casa Grande, Ariz. The near-net zero vision calls for transforming an existing facility so that it is as far off the grid as possible, running primarily on renewable energy sources and recycled water, while producing nearly zero landfill waste.

The Arizona facility features a recovery system that the company hopes will recycle 75 percent of the plant’s water. Frito-Lay plans to use the plant as something of a green test lab, to help improve efficiencies at other facilities.

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