In just two years, a zero-waste program at Taylor Farms' Gonzales fresh-cut processing facility has generated substantial savings. Since 2017, the facility decreased its landfill contribution by 56 percent by, for example, working with its growers to transition from single-use wax cartons to reusable field bins and totes.
A simple change now allows plastic bags used to protect equipment during plant sanitation to be recycled rather than thrown away. Ongoing employee training is an essential component of the program.
This zero-waste program complements other sustainability efforts at Taylor Farms Gonzales. Harnessing renewable and alternative energy sources has reduced the facility's greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 6,510 cars off the road each year, while providing most of the energy it needs.
For example, an energy-producing system including wind turbine, solar and cogeneration generates 4.2 megawatts of electricity - that's 90 percent of what's needed to run the plant.
Taylor Farms Gonzales employs 1,000 people to produce more than 4 million pounds of fresh-cut produce weekly. Taylor Farms consultant Measure to Improve has detailed these
initiatives, practices and policies in the full case study.