A Washington state bakery has achieved zero-waste status by recycling, reusing and repurposing all of its waste.
Franz Bakery, a 108-year-old family-owned company, eliminated waste at its Spokane bakery through a recycling program that encompasses all aspects of its operations, including product and packaging waste, scrap metals, used equipment lubricant oil, used fleet motor oil, paper, plastic and cardboard.
The company found creative uses for materials they had previously discarded. For example, it began recycling used auto oil through an auto parts store and filtering the bakery equipment lubricant oil to reuse as heating fuel for the EPA-certified heater in the company’s Fleet Shop, the truck maintenance garage.
The Spokane team also placed automatic hand dryers in the most heavily used areas in bakery to reduce the amount of paper towels thrown away. Anything that couldn’t be recycled is now transferred to the waste-to-energy plant to help power the region.
The Franz bakeries in Seattle, Portland, and McMinnville are currently 98 percent landfill free. The company says its other bakeries are also working to reduce waste and it hopes to achieve landfill-free status in all nine of its bakeries in the upcoming months.
Other companies around the US are also stepping up their landfill-free efforts including General Motors with 110 landfill-free sites and MillerCoors, which has five landfill-free breweries.