Waste management at Free State abattoirs
Swanepoel, Jan Willem
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South African red meat abattoirs currently rehabilitate waste poorly. This is due to a lack of resources, poor management and low prioritization. Ineffective waste management can result in considerable environmental damage and health risks. When alternative ways to manage or dispose of waste are implemented, this could result in both financial and environmental gain. The generation of power in South Africa is expensive, whilst electricity is one of the biggest expenses at an abattoir. It is thus important to research other means to generate power at an abattoir. There are many benefits to improved waste processing and management. These include decreased costs of waste treatment and disposal, income generation from by-products and a reduced environmental impact associated with waste disposal. Livestock by-products have significant economic and nutritional value that needs to be utilized. Landfilling, the most common form of abattoir waste disposal is becoming limited in regards to space and stricter regulations for waste management. Alternative technologies should be applied to optimize recycling targets and to ensure that the production of energy is optimized in such a way that a maximum return on investment is achieved. The impact on the environment should always be considered and the technology risks carefully assessed. High throughput abattoirs are much more inclined to implement new waste management systems. Most systems are very expensive, but fortunately many realize the importance and future return on investment after implementing such a system. The same applies for low throughput abattoirs slaughtering high numbers of units and thus producing a lot of waste. Many abattoirs do implement some waste management techniques whereby they generate additional income or saving on disposal expenses. The implication of this, prove to be very advantageous for some of these abattoirs. Low-throughput abattoirs find it costly and not viable to establish any of the researched 2 plants to generate energy from waste. It is thus advisable to still do everything possible to process waste and minimizing the amount of waste products going into the municipal sewerage system and landfills. This study provides abattoirs with viable methods of getting rid of waste and in the same time using waste to produce energy at the abattoir. Since few abattoirs are informed about the newest technology that is available with regards to waste to energy, this study serves as an introduction to these new technologies. Abattoirs can save money by generating their own power, have a means of getting rid of waste, building up carbon points as well as doing their part in slowing down, stopping or even reversing global warming.