In May 2021 we broke ground on the construction of a Sustainable Resources Facility (SRF) which is an innovative and comprehensive environmental management system that will allow Nicholas Meat to reuse wastewater and generate green energy from biogas. The facility currently under construction represents years of research and planning. This is the most ambitious project we have undertaken, and we truly believe it will set the standard for sustainability throughout the meat processing industry.
The SRF will be strategically located adjacent to the meat processing facility, allowing 97% of the system inputs and recovered materials to be piped to and from the SRF. Therefore, there will be fewer trucks on the road, resulting in less traffic, less fuel consumed, fewer carbon emissions and an overall improvement to the environment.
The SRF will employ a process called anaerobic digestion where bacteria convert organic waste into an energy source called biogas. This biogas will be used to power various devices throughout our operations and will replace our dependence on fossil fuels. Because anaerobic digestion occurs in an enclosed environment, odorous emissions are contained, and greenhouse gases are substantially reduced.
Solid waste is broken down by the anaerobic digestion process and becomes a stable, nutrient rich, odor-free fertilizer that can be applied to area farmland. The overall volume is reduced, resulting in less truck traffic to and from the fields. This means less fuel is used for transportation, further reducing our carbon footprint.
Process water piped to the SRF will undergo advanced wastewater treatment with reverse osmosis that will allow us to reuse up to 90% of the water within our operations. Consequently, less water will need to be withdrawn from the underground aquifer, protecting this valuable resource.
We strongly believe the proposed Sustainable Resource Facility is ethically and environmentally the most meaningful improvement we can make for all those who work at Nicholas Meat and for the community. We are excited about this project and look forward to its completion.
For the latest SRF Updates, visit the Nicholas Meat FYI Blog.