How Vesco Foods is reducing their cost by turning organics waste into compost

A packaged-foods brand wanted to take advantage of the innovative possibilities of the circular economy when managing waste. After partnering with SUEZ, its processes are now safer, cost-effective and better for the environment.
The challenge

Vesco Foods is a major packaged-foods manufacturer that runs its operations in Perth 24 hours a day. While a successful producer of leading brands in prepackaged meals, many of its core waste processes hadn’t been updated in 15 years. Working in partnership with Vesco’s teams, SUEZ’s team looked at Vesco’s operations to optimise their process and turn food waste into new resources.

Our answer

The smart solution

SUEZ partnered with Vesco Foods to introduce a value-for-money process that would transform its operations.The team proposed a system to take organic waste out of the compactor and divert it from landfill. SUEZ proposed that Vesco invest in two compactors, allowing it to separate organics from general waste. Though this involved increased upfront costs — the organic waste would need to be emptied three times a week, while general waste would be emptied twice a week — these would immediately be offset by a reduction in general waste disposal costs.

The innovative process

Continuous improvement is vital, new processes were instituted to enhance worker safety and streamline production at the Vesco plant. Vesco was able to eliminate manual handling when SUEZ designed new eurobin lifters tailored to the plant. It also updated all of its signage and instructions — into English and Vietnamese, the two most-spoken native languages — to ensure that all workers could undertake the processes safely.

Vesco had its liquid waste captured in a tank designed by SUEZ for the purpose. This allowed a liquid truck to then come to the plant twice each week to remove the waste via an outlet built into the tank, eliminating the risk in the previous process, which involved moving bins by forklift each day.

The results

The benefits

SUEZ understands that transforming a food business' waste management is significant and value for the customer needs to be at the forefront. After the new waste disposal system came into operation, the increased diversion from landfill saved Vesco more than $10,000 in disposal costs.

The new bin-handling system saved the company roughly $30,000 annually in labour costs, while the liquid waste system saved a further $30,000 each year in transport costs. During the first three months of operation the material in the organic compactor that went through depackaging equated to 110 tonnes per month in diverted organics from landfill.

Meanwhile, enhanced safety and better processes that automated manual handling and optimised waste sorting saw an increase in employee engagement. Fully implementing this new suite of systems and processes at Vesco ultimately reduced risks of safety incidents.

saved in disposal costs by increasing diversion from landfill
of organics waste diverted from landfill in the first 3 months
annually saved due to the new bin-handling system placed