Farmer Bros. Co. has expanded its recycling and waste diversion program that will help reduce our landfill-bound waste to zero by the year 2015. Following its SEED (social, environmental, and economic development) model, the company is investing resources, taking the time to look closely at its operations and discovering ways to increase recycling, repurposing and composting, and minimizing the environmental impact of its industry-leading coffees, teas and spices, according to the company.
From an environmental perspective, it has focused on diverting recyclable and compostable waste away from landfills in order to prolong the lifecycle of plastics and other byproducts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The social aspect is about people: removing landfill waste from communities where we live and work and creating a company culture that attracts and retains socially conscious talent. The company has looked at the economic benefits of creating additional revenue streams from former landfill products and reducing fuel and tipping-related costs from landfill hauling.
Its goal is to have zero waste bound for landfills by the end of 2015 through smart practices and innovation, and it has been working with its partners to identify opportunities. "Farmer Brothers is genuinely committed to waste reduction. Throughout their processes, they are actively working to increase recycling, composting and looking for new opportunities to reduce waste. Waste Management is proud to be partnering with Farmer Brothers and we look forward to continued success and helping them reach zero waste," said Trevor Kitchen, major account manager for Waste Management, in a prepared statement.
The drive to reduce waste has been led by recycling the byproduct packaging waste from the company’s packaging machines, removing an estimated 1,500,000 pounds of packaging waste from landfills each year. It is also repurposing the fiber bags used for shipping green coffee. They can be used as weed control in reclamation projects, tools for local farmers harvesting fruits and vegetables, bag-and-burlap for tree plantings and much more. Farmer Brothers uses more than 50,000,000 fiber bags each year, and where most of these were once bound for landfills, today it has a waiting list for organizations eager to extend the useful life of these bags. Another success has been taking at least 15,000 pounds per month of chaff at its Portland, Ore. facility left over from coffee processing and selling this material to companies producing natural fertilizers. These and many more innovations developed by the Farmer Brothers team have put them on the road to zero landfill-bound waste and will help the company meet its goal by 2015.