As someone who doesn’t associate Kraft with anything other than mediocre imitations of good cheeses, I’ll have to suck up my reservations for this next post as Kraft Foods is doing something pretty interesting. The Northfield, Illinois-based food giant is embracing waste-to-energy at its manufacturing facilities in Lowville and Campbell, New York. The type of waste product used: Whey. Yes, whey.30% of Facilities' Natural Gas Needs Replaced
Both plants will be using anaerobic digester systems to create biomethane, replacing about 30% of each facility’s natural gas needs. In addition to saving on fuel costs by converting whey to biomethane, the company says that CO2 emissions will also be reduced as the whey will no longer have to be shipped off-site for disposal.
Waste-to-Energy Produces Enough Power for 2600 Homes
The digester at the Lowville facility, where Philadelphia cream cheese is made, will produce enough biogas to heat approximately 1,000 homes; the Campbell facility’s system will produce enough energy for 1,600 homes—that is if the energy weren’t being used at the plants themselves.
Kraft has a company-wide goal of reducing overall energy usage by 25%, energy-related CO2 emissions by 25%, and manufacturing waste by 15%.