Approaching zero-waste operations
Miller has long been working towards becoming a zero-waste business and reuses or recycles 99% of all leftover material.
Spent grains are used for cattle feed and spent yeast is used in soup bases and dog food. The honey buckets used to make Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss are returned to the supplier for reuse. Effluent sludge is used as a soil improver, kieselguhr is used in making cement and ash from our boilers goes into concrete. Our brewery in Texas collaborates with a neighbouring business that recycles empty plastic drums into outdoor landscaping products. In Milwaukee, Miller sends empty plastic flavouring drums to the local sewerage company, which turns them into rain barrels. Each brewery runs its own recycling centre and wood, cardboard, plastic strapping, keg caps and the air bags that cushion bottles as they arrive at our breweries are all eventually recycled or reused.
Reducing waste in Hungary
Our Hungarian operation Dreher recycles, reuses or sells over 99% of its waste.
As well as helping the business to meet strict regulations on waste, other benefits include reinforcing our position as a responsible company, meeting public expectations and saving costs.
Packaging waste is segregated into a dozen different categories to be baled, compressed and then recycled while the filtration medium, kieselguhr, is now composted instead of being sent to landfill. The brewery is a registered producer of animal feed, so spent grains and yeast can be sold for agricultural purposes. Spent yeast is also sold for other brewing applications.
Hazardous waste is recycled where possible, for example, waste oils are regenerated and electric and electronic waste (old refrigerators and coolers) is disassembled and partly recycled.
Much of the waste that cannot be recycled in these or other ways is incinerated and the heat recovered.