Expansion plans: Renderer faces opposition
Plans to nearly double the capacity
of Darling International's Fresno, California rendering plant is on hold for at
least another month. Neighbours complained about odours and the effect on
plants across the nation. The plant in Fresno processes 385 tonnes of by
products a day, mostly from food processors that include beef and poultry
slaughterhouses. It is seeking to process an additional 340 tonnes a day.
The plant removes moisture from animal material and turns fats and oils
into tallow, much of which goes to animal feed. The cooking oil also is
processed into animal feed and into compounds ultimately used in products that
include cosmetics, tires and soap.
Citizens said the rendering plant already
gives off a horrible smell and they don't want the stench to get worse. "I think
every resident is entitled to breathe clean air, and just because we're in a
low-income area doesn't mean we should be dumped on," a spokesperson said.
An official with Darling defended the planned expansion, saying it
could result in fewer hours of plant operation and would likely reduce traffic
in the area.
Increase in equipment
"This would allow us to process
what is brought in and not have to ship to our other locations," said Bill
McMurtry, vice president of environmental affairs for the company.
McMurtry said improvements at the plant already have been made that
would enable it to process more material. The increase in capacity at the plant
does not involve additional buildings. It comes with the addition of equipment.
Those improvements, in addition to equipment to
reduce emissions of odours, have cost nearly $750,000 and were made in the past
two years, he said.
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