Waste management in pig production facilities: towards sustainability



AUTHOR

Diego Calvo

The current progress of environmental regulations and biosafety programs to be applied on farms has caused that the management of animal waste is already a part of the work, internalized by all involved actors involved (farmers, veterinarians, companies, etc).

 

Objective and guidelines for proper animal waste management

The main objective of an adequate management of animal residues is the reduction of the risks inherent to the veterinary activity, which may affect the environment and the control of disease transmission.

This management must be carried out following basic biosecurity guidelines, which are easy to apply, reducing the problems that may arise to a minimum.

Even if there is a person responsible for the waste area who regularly talks to the Animal Waste Manager, all staff must receive basic training to enable them to carry out basic tasks

Place the waste in the corresponding containers and areas

Identify waste correctly

Avoid leaving residues on the ground, as they can be a potential source of risk

As with any other external company we work with, it is essential to try to get the managers’ vehicles as far as possible to the farms, as well as to take the containers with waste for delivery outside the fence or to remote free transit areas – the closer, the more potential risks!

There is a tendency for farms to set certain days of the week for the removal of animal waste in order to minimize risks, anticipate their staff and Manager control.

With the current trend towards de-medicalization, which implies the application of fewer treatments, together with improvements in the management carried out on the farm, the amount of animal waste to be managed is reduced.

If there is a spill or breakage of any container with residues, its content must be introduced into another container destined for the same purpose, in addition to disinfecting the affected area.

It is advisable to have an intermediate and final storage for the animal residues.

 

On-farm intermediate waste storage

Intermediate storage consists of depositing, separately and temporarily, the animal waste generated in the different areas.

They must be located close to the points of waste generation to avoid or minimize individual and repetitive transport through different areas of the farm, ensuring a correct initial segregation. The size of the containers will depend on the volume and risk associated with the waste deposited in them, and they must have a smooth and stable surface.

The area where containers with animal waste will be located must be properly labelled, placing a sign indicating the different types of waste to be generated at that point in the operation, as well as the packaging in which they must be introduced, so that their interpretation is simple for all staff.

It is essential that the storage area always has a roof, since all hazardous waste must be located by definition under a roof and identified with its corresponding label, in addition to being introduced in its corresponding approved container.

Do not pile up containers. They should be moved to the final storage area frequently.

Both intermediate points and the final central warehouse must have vector and rodent control

 

Internal transport to the final warehouse

An exit route from the temporary warehouses to the end must be designed, which does not pass through sensitive areas of biosecurity, such as maternity.

This is a basic measure used in human medicine, pharmacy, chemistry, etc., that avoids contamination.

 

Full or final storage

The integral or final warehouse is where all the animal residues (coming from intermediate warehouses) are placed until they are periodically removed by the final waste Manager. This warehouse must comply with the following requirements:

Location within the farm’s fence, but independent and isolated from clean areas of the farm

It must have a roof, so if it is placed far from the farm and close to the perimeter fence, we must build a house or structure with a roof.

Clear signposting, placing a sign outside that indicates:

  • The different types of animal waste generated on the farm
  • The packaging in which the waste must be introduced
  • The area within that final warehouse where each type of container must be located

To this end, areas will be delimited, either by marking the floor or the wall, or by clearly indicating it by means of a sign.

This warehouse will be reserved for this exclusive use, or at least will be clearly separated from nearby areas destined for other uses.

Adequate natural ventilation and a smooth non-porous surface to avoid possible leaching.

Sufficient capacity for the waste to be contained, plus an additional percentage for any unforeseen events that may arise on the farm.

 

To ensure proper organization and cleanliness, it is recommended to limit the access of outsiders and avoid the entry of animals.

As with all other farm activities, it is essential to clean and disinfect the surfaces of the final storage room every time it is emptied after handing over the waste to the final manager.



 
 


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