Sunday, October 25, 2009

Major Food Corporation Composting

Name: Major Food Corporation Composting

Location: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; Durban, South Africa; Suffolk, Virginia

Years: 2005-present

Corporation: Unilever Foods

Unilever Foods is one of the biggest food companies in the world. Beginning in 2005, this company has started diverting food waste from its factories and instead sending it to municipal composting facilities. The first two factories to implement this composting system were located in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and Durban, South Africa. They combine the food waste from their factories with spices and dry savoury powers from other factories, as well as typical compost ingredients like grass clippings and manure. In the first two years of this pilot project, they have managed to diver half their waste from landfills, and the resulting compost is then used in a variety of community initiatives, such as 56 local community gardens. These gardens are intended to fight poverty, provide food, and provide a source of income in poor communities.

In addition to its composting systems in South Africa, Unilever Foods has made great strides with its recycling and composting practices in its factories worldwide. In September of 2009, its plant in Suffolk, Virginia announced that it had become a “zero landfill facility”. Through their aggressive recycling and composting programs, the company has achieved the result of not sending any waste to landfills.This factory is also the largest tea-processing facility in the United States, so it’s nice to see such a major factory taking a stand on sustainability.

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