What's the problem with butchers' waste?
Today, the UK produces over 1.75 million tonnes of animal by-products. A significant proportion of that is butcher’s waste: Offal, bones, fat, trimmings, blood, and meat that has spoiled. Rendering butchers' waste is essential to protect public health, the environment and animal health. It also makes an essential contribution towards sustainability in animal farming.
Here are the 6 key reasons rendering is so important:
1. Rendering protects human health
Butcher’s waste and other meat industry by-products can contain bacteria and viruses that cause serious human diseases. Even where the waste is from meat that was fit for human consumption, it can quickly become infected if not disposed of promptly. When any waste is left to rot, the disease-causing organisms multiply and increase the health risk. Waste also attracts rats and insects, both of which can spread disease. This means butcher’s waste fast becomes a serious bio-hazard.
It’s therefore essential to process the material quickly and in a controlled way. Modern rendering firms have the infrastructure to do just this. Fleets of specialised vehicles collect waste day and night, and sophisticated plants make the material safe.
2. Rendering protects animal health
For the same reasons, butchers’ waste not dealt with promptly can spread disease among pets, livestock, birds and wild animals.
3. Rendering locks in carbon
All animal material contains carbon. If the material is destroyed, the carbon goes into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Through rendering butchers' waste, we recycle the material into new products and keep the carbon locked in.
4. Rendering conserves resources
By recycling through rendering, we avoid wasting the resources used to produce the meat.We also make use of the nutrients still available in the material.
5. Rendering can protect the soil and avoid water contamination
If butchers’ waste or other animal by-products are left to rot, then chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus leak out into the soil and into streams and rivers.
6. Rendering helps reduce the need to grow oil palm trees and other crops that can harm the environment
Recycled oils from rendering are used in biofuels, toiletries and animal feed. Without these oils, we would need to use more oilseed crops, such as palm oil and soybean. There’s increasing concern that oilseed production is leading to the destruction of forests and harming the environment.
Rendering also produces processed animal protein (PAP), a valuable feed ingredient and an alternative to soya meal. Making PAP creates only 10% of the greenhouse gases of soya production.