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Food Scraps Go to the Animals: Barthold Recycling and Roll-off Services

Type of Recovery:
Feed Animals

Company: Barthold Recycling & Roll-off Services. Family owned business in the St. Francis, MN area.

Cool Facts: Barthold feeds 3,800 pigs and 250 cattle on its 290-acre facility. They process around 1,000 tons of food scraps per month.

Don’t throw away your food waste! Barthold Recycling and Roll-Off Services picks up food scraps from commercial businesses and feeds the scraps to pigs and cattle.

How It Works

Since 1988, Barthold Recycling & Roll-off Services has collected food from restaurants, hotels, schools, nursing homes, grocery stores and even large food processors to feed 3,800 pigs and 250 head of cattle on its 290-acre facility. Today, Barthold collects food scraps from about 400 commercial customers in the St. Francis, Minnesota area each month.

In 1951, the Federal government and the State of Minnesota Department of Animal Health required haulers and farmers to process or cook food before feeding it to animals to kill harmful bacteria. In order to comply, Barthold pioneered a method of cooking the food scraps in the trucks after collection. Steam pipes are hooked to the truck for 20 minutes, increasing the temperature enough to kill potentially harmful bacteria. Once cooked, the food waste is fed to the pigs and cows. Barthold operates a full circle practice by also composting the manure from the animals for fertilizer used both onsite and offsite.

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What Makes Barthold Recycling and Roll-off Successful

One word sums it up: collection. Barthold Farms established industry food collection service standards to ensure consistency and good performance and ensures that all farms listed on their website adhere to these standards. For example, Barthold uses special containers with lids that seal with a rubber gasket to reduce odor and leakage. In addition, thanks to Barthold’s long relationship with many of its customers, along with education and training, its final product is 99.75% pure. Experienced customers know how to properly sort the food waste so that contamination is minimal, and Barthold trains new customers to do the same.

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Everyone Benefits

Customers save money by paying Barthold to haul their food waste and feed it to pigs and cattle because it reduces taxes, disposal costs, and fees at landfills. Customers pay 30% less to recycle their food waste instead of throwing it away. In April 2003, Ramsey and Washington Counties, Minnesota, established a County Environmental Charge to encourage commercial waste generators to reduce their organic waste, avoiding additional charges on their waste bill. For example, two innovative customers, the Prairie School District and J&J Distributing (wholesale produce distributor) used Barthold Recycling & Roll-off Services and estimate that they save 50% and 67%, respectively, in trash hauling and disposal fees. J & J Distributing estimates that by using Barthold they divert an average of 35 tons of fruit and vegetable waste or 65% of its total waste stream per month. Customers report other benefits such as increased cleanliness and reduced labor costs. Also, since Barthold uses the compost produced from its animal waste both onsite and offsite, they reduce costs and create another source of revenue.

As you can see, feeding animals provides an excellent opportunity economically and environmentally for your business. If you generate large quantities of food scraps, look at your waste handling and consider the benefits of recycling that waste!

View and print this fact sheet (PDF) (1 pg, 280K, about PDF)

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