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Murray Goulburn Cooperative has a three-hectare site on Commercial Road, Koroit, where it runs a fleet of tankers that collect milk from more than 450 suppliers throughout western Victoria and South Australia. The site produces cream, buttermilk, anhydrous milk fat (AMF) and a wide variety of milk powders, for both local and overseas markets.
Analysis of the results of the benchmarking program undertaken by the company identified cost and reliability of water supply, and recovery of product from waste streams as among the best initial opportunities to improve its environmental performance and its economic efficiency.
The change to a 'user pays' basis for supply of mains water had increased the cost of water supply to the site. A further issue was the lack of a back-up system in the event of a supply problem. The company decided to invest $221,000 in an additional water-storage tank and cooling tower.
The water storage and cooling measure is saving $80,000 annually in lower town-water costs, in treatment and energy costs, and in preventing downtime. That represents a 2.5 year payback.
The company invested in a waste management and communications training course for all full-time staff to facilitate employees' awareness of the importance of waste minimisation at the site - both monetary importance and environmental impact. However, given the nature of milk production, many employees are either seasonal or part-time, so training them during the peak season is impossible.
Murray Goulburn Cooperative has improved its bottom-line performance as a result of its waste management plan and associated actions.
The company's waste management objectives and targets are:
|Effluent||Volume: 175 cubic metres|
|Proportion of protein intake|
|lost to effluent: 0.9 per cent|
|Proportion of fat intake|
|lost to effluent: 0.45 per cent|
|Product yield||Reduce yield losses on high|
|protein and low moisture from|
|process by 10 per cent|
|Chemical usage||Reduce cost of chemical usage|
|by 5 per cent per kilogram of|
|Solid wastes||Reduce cost of waste disposal|
|by 50 per cent|
|Water||Reduce volume of water usage|
|to 40 cubic metres|
This case study was prepared by the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Victoria. Environment Australia would like to thank them for allowing us to display their case study on our web site.