Dairy Waste

Dairy Waste Reduction Tips

Fixing Leaks

  • At Marigold Foods in Minneapolis, six leaky pipe connections were clampled down. In addition to lowering their wastewater biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) loading, Marigold saves about 10 gallons of milk an hour.
  • Pride of Main Street Dairy in Sauk Centre, decided to remove an old, leaking half-pint filling machine. The demand of half pints was down, so the machine was simply removed.
  • At Hastings Co-op Creamery Association in Hastings, maintenance personnel fix small leaks before they became larger ones. Valves are replaced before they wear out, preventing water and byproduct losses.


  • At Hastings Co-op Creamery, automatic shutoff hoses were installed in the truck wash area. The new hoses reduce wastewater because they do not spray continuously during washing. They are more convenient to use because the operator can immediately control water flow.
  • Marigold Foods installed mixing stations to eliminate the risk of employee exposure to live steam. Now steam is automatically mixed with cold water before reaching hoses. Automatic shutoff valves were installed on these hoses, where previously steam would have destroyed them.

Process Improvements

  • In order to reduce product loss when unloading cream from tanker trucks, Pride of Main Street Dairy uses air to flush excess cream through the three inch hose into a storage silo. Previously, product left in the hose would empty down the drain.
  • Installing a second pasteurizer for processing only white milk, saves Schroeder Milk Company in St. Paul $180,000 worth of product a year and 8,600 gallons of water each day. Previously, only one pasteurizer was used to process both white and chocolate milk. The addition of a second pasteurizer eliminated waste generated from cleaning the original pasteurizer before white to chocolate milk changeovers.

Conservation Strategies*

  1. Always treat water as a raw material with a real cost.
  2. Make water conservation a management priority.
  3. Set water conservation goals for your plant.
  4. Install water meters and monitor water use.
  5. Improve maintenance to prevent product leaks form valves, piping, and equipment.
  6. Minimize spills of ingredients and of raw and finished product on the floor; always clean up the spills before washing.
  7. Use high-pressure, low volume cleaning systems.
  8. Use automatic shutoff nozzles on all water hoses.
  9. Don’t let people use water hoses as brooms.
  10. Train Employees how to use water efficiently.
* Printed with permission of Dr. R. Eugene Carawan, PhD, Gannet Fleming, 5511 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606