In honor of Earth Month, we’re exploring what that means, and why spreading the word on the sustainability benefits of rendering is paving the way to a ‘greener’ future.
Rendering probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of recycling (or even sustainability for that matter) because renderers have been “silently” sustainable for so long. Now we’re proudly and loudly spreading the word that “Rendering (really is) Recycling”!
According to Wikipedia recycling is “the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects,”, and defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: “to adapt to a new use”.
But what does “waste” really mean? Perhaps when you hear “waste” you think of “trash” or “garbage,” but we invite you to think of it instead as something that can be reclaimed and reused – that would be “wasted” if it wasn’t recycled.
Take food waste for example. By rendering and repurposing the leftover meat (the parts of the animal most Americans prefer not to eat) that would otherwise be “wasted,” rendering is recycling by definition. And also recovering food waste before it is really wasted, rotting and taking up precious landfill space.
The Future is Looking Green
NARA’s commitment to educating about the sustainability benefits of rendering increased in recent years with introduction of our new name as the North American Renderers Association representing renderers who “Reclaiming Resources, Sustainably.” We embraced a fresh logo, a re-designed website, and new educational infographics (link to infographics page), but we’re not the only organization dedicated to sustainability research and education by far.
For example, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) truly “walks the talk” on the sustainable benefits of biodiesel for people and local communities, especially those with disadvantaged neighborhoods. NBB recently released a new health benefits study that found “low-carbon fuel would decrease premature deaths, reduce cancer risk and alleviate asthma complications for thousands of Americans” if 100% biodiesel was used to power trucks, and other diesel engines in communities. The information from the study is here in this colorful one page infographic.
NARA partners with NBB to support greater use of green fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel. Animal fats produced by renderers, and the used cooking oil they collect from restaurants are cleaned are upcycled into these biofuels. Biodiesel and renewable diesel improve the environment since they reduce carbon emissions by 74 percent (compared to petroleum-based diesel fuel). Many diesel vehicles are hard to electrify, such as long-haul trucks, airplanes, and ocean ships. Biodiesel and renewable diesel are part of the current and forward-thinking solution to climate change and cleaner air.
New research into the sustainability benefits of rendering is on the horizon for NARA too, and a peer reviewed journal article will be released soon about how agricultural rendering supports sustainability and helps livestock contribute more than food to the planet.
#HappyEarthMonth, and remember: “Rendering (really) is Recycling”!
To learn more about the sustainability benefits of rendering, visit nara.org/sustainability.