Calif. Dairy Transforms Waste into Valuable Resources

November 04, 2014

When any business annually conserves 2.9 billion gallons of water – the equivalent of 11,000,000 people taking a 10-minute shower – it deserves to be recognized. That’s one reason why the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy presented Joseph Gallo Farms with its Outstanding Dairy Processing & Manufacturing Sustainability award, one of the six U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards presented this year.

Located in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the dairy prioritizes water conservation and air quality. Every day, the dairy receives 6 to 10 million gallons of storm and waste water from the nearby communities of Atwater and Livingston. By using it to irrigate crops, the farm naturally and safely filters potential pollutants out of the water and puts all that water to good use. Another 1.8 million gallons a day is conserved by reclaiming and reusing the water that results from the cheesemaking process. 

Once the water is reused, it flows into the dairy’s digester, a machine that can remove the methane gas from the water and, with the help of a generator, transforms it into electricity. That allows the farm to use green power for as much as 100 percent of its energy needs. Even better, the remaining electricity is shared with the community. In the end, it reduces air emissions by 25,000 tons a year.

Zero emissions. Zero waste. Zero injuries. With these and other goals for their farm and cheesemaking plant, the Gallo family is working toward creating a business that will last for years to come. To learn more, watch the video below:

Together, World Wildlife Fund and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy are working to address these sustainability challenges and help feed a growing global population while maintaining a living planet. Since 2009, WWF and the Innovation Center have worked to advance mutual conservation goals and improve the environmental sustainability of the dairy industry. We are working together with the nation’s dairy farmers to develop, adopt and share new, science-based practices, leading to a more sustainable dairy industry.


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