18 ENVIRONMENT Going from zero waste diversion to diverting 1.5 million pounds of unrecyclable trash to energy production last year has contributed to the Washington, IN., turkey processing facility’s continued growth in landfill diversion, now at 92 percent. Trash that previously was landfilled now goes to a thermal conversion center where it is turned into steam and electricity destined for the Indianapolis power grid. The plant also increased its recycling of cardboard, plastic buckets (including metal handles), food-grade trays and other plastic. Pounds of waste going to landfill declined significantly, a 68 percent reduction over the prior year, with the amount of materials being recycled reaching 84 percent. Perry, Ga., facility Environmental Manager Stacie Harris and team identified the four 300-horsepower blowers in the wastewater treatment plant as a prime opportunity for reaching the plant’s energy reduction goals. The blowers supply air to the aeration basins to keep the microbiological “bugs” alive and healthy. The key to reducing fan use was found in a simple test, called a jar test, that when done consistently helps assure appropriate pre-treatment of water going to the basin. Good pre-treatment avoids under- or over-feeding the bacteria and keeps oxygen levels stable. The result has been an average of 10 percent energy savings per month versus the previous year. An unexpected benefit has been $100,000-plus in cost savings on pre-treatment chemicals.  Washington, IN., Facility Increases Total Landfill Diversion to 92 Percent Simple Water Test Results in Significant Energy Savings