Straus Family Creamery: Marshall Creamery

Location: 
Marshall, California, USA
Certification Level: 
Gold
Percent of Overall Diversion Achieved: 
92%
Facility Size: 
27,000 square feet
Type of Operation: 
Dairy Manufacturing
Project Overview: 

Straus Family Creamery was the first 100% certified organic creamery in the United States. At Straus, organic is more than just a set of rules to be followed, it is a philosophy to be embraced in all aspects of the business.

At the creamery where Straus produces organic milk, yogurt, butter, and ice cream products, all dairy waste is captured and put to beneficial use on the Straus Dairy Farm, just 6 miles away. Most of this material is used as a fuel for the farm’s methane (anaerobic) digester. The digester transforms milk waste and cow manure into biogas to generate electricity for the farm, and the byproduct (called “digestate”) is returned to the pastures to build nutrient-rich soil – a circular process that will help the 500-acre Straus Dairy Farm achieve its goal of a carbon-neutral dairy farming system by 2022.

In 2018, the creamery diverted more than 880,000 pounds of material from landfills. Maximizing recycling quality is the biggest challenge, especially in a dairy manufacturing setting where materials may come into contact with milk, ice cream, or yogurt. Straus Family Creamery achieves a low contamination rate through effective employee training. All employees at the plant participate in bi-annual waste management trainings that explain specific procedures for separating materials and maintaining material quality. Plant managers champion zero waste values on the production floor and ensure that all production lines are equipped with the necessary bins and labels to maximize waste diversion. Employee engagement is the key ingredient in Straus Family Creamery’s zero waste program, and we are proud of the many zero waste heroes who contributed to our TRUE Zero Waste Gold Certification!