USPOULTRY announces environmental awards

by Bryan Salvage
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ATLANTA – U.S. Poultry & Egg Association 2010 Clean Water Awards have been won by American Proteins, Hanceville, Ala., and Wayne Farms, Decatur, Ala. Perdue Farms, Perry, Ga., and Tyson Foods, Wilkesboro, N.C., received honorable mentions.

These awards, which are presented annually, recognize excellence in wastewater treatment plant operations. The award presentations were made during the association's Environmental Management Seminar recently held in New Orleans and are presented in two categories: full treatment and pre-treatment. The full-treatment category covers facilities that fully reclaim wastewater prior to discharge into a receiving stream or final land application system. The pre-treatment category includes facilities that discharge pre-treated effluent to publicly-owned full treatment facilities. First place and honorable mention are recognized in both categories.

Winning first place in the full treatment category was American Proteins. It is the largest poultry product recycling facility in the world. American Proteins operates on an Environmental Management System, a formal set of procedures and policies. A cover over their anaerobic lagoon reduces odor emissions and provides for the recovery and reuse of biogas for use in boilers. Through an aggressive water-conservation program, 30 million gallons of water are recycled every day. Situated on 600 acres, the facility uses 100 acres, leaving 500 acres for wildlife habitat. American Proteins, Hanceville, also won the award in 2004.

Wayne Farms' Decatur further-processing facility was selected as the winner in the pre-treatment category, after being runner-up last year. Several innovative processes were recognized: a combined waste stream from two plants improving effluent water quality, an automated jar testing project, polymer blend consistency, and multiple supervisory control and data acquisition, providing 24-7 coverage for both utilities and wastewater treatment.

Perdue Farms received honorable mention for full treatment for its slaughter and further-processing operations in Perry, Ga. The water-treatment process uses a three-polymer system in a dissolved air-flotation unit and a P.L.C. system to control polymer dosing. The system enhances effluent quality and streamlines management control. The facility is located on 700 rural acres, with approximately 350 acres set aside for wildlife habitat conservation.

Tyson Foods’ Fresh Retail Division in Wilkesboro, N.C., won honorable mention in the pre-treatment category. The complex includes the processing plant with a capacity of 1,650,000 birds per week and a foodservice plant. The environmental management team works closely with the city of Wilkesboro. Tyson has adapted the latest water treatment innovations in a limited space, and they use effective storm water management techniques. The water conservation program results in the recycling of 1,000,000 gallons of water.

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