Strategy: Turning Trash into Treasure
By Denise Harrison, Executive Vice President and COO
Discussions concerning waste disposal and environmental impact are showing up more frequently during strategic plan development. With disposal costs and environmental regulations increasing, companies are finding creative ways to deal with their waste. Here is one example.
Cheese production in Wisconsin is big business; – in fact one quarter of the cheese produced in the US comes from Wisconsin. Cheese brine, a byproduct of the production process, and its disposal costs cheese producers thousands of dollars of each year. But what if they could find something productive to do with the brine?
Combine the cheese brine with the rock salt used for keeping roads from icing up. What are the benefits of this combination?
- The cheese brine activates the salt to make it more effective in colder temperatures enhancing road safety
- The cheese brine/rock salt combination helps keep the salt on the road – it is estimated that a third of the salt bounces off the road during the spreading process
- It reduces disposal costs for cheese producers
- It reduces road salting costs for the municipality using the cheese brine/rock salt mixture.
The downside: – well, it is a bit smelly.
As environmental concerns and waste disposal costs increase, look for creative ways to use your waste. There may be a new product idea hiding in your trash.
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