Sustainability

Veolia unveils poultry bedding made from paper production waste

Veolia has announced a new poultry bedding option for farmers, using waste streams from the paper industry. Its objective is to ‘meet one-quarter of the UK demand’.

Veolia AgribedThe bedding material, Agribed, has been specifically designed to support the welfare of chickens and turkeys, using discarded fibre from the pulping processes in paper and cardboard mills. This fibre is tansformed into kiln-dried paper crumb bedding, for use in poultry sheds.

Benefits of Agribed include its sterile quality – high absorbency ensures that poultry sheds stay drier and friable for longer, helping to ‘optimise bird health and welfare’.

Further benefits include the material’s ability to act as an effective insulator and the composition and pH in the paper crumb, which actively reduces ammonia and reduces pododermatitis (podo) – a common inflammatory condition affecting the feet of poultry.

The company says that converting this unused by-product into a new material will ‘boost the circular economy in the farming industry’ and potentially deliver increased cost savings.

After use, Agribed has ‘potential bio-energy applications’, such as supplying renewable heat for poultry farms and lowering a site's carbon footprint. Any resultant ash, Veolia says, can be used as soil conditioner.

The product has been approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, and Red Tractor for its use as animal bedding, and will be delivered under Veolia’s Arden brand.

Donald Macphail, Chief Operating Officer of Treatment at Veolia, said: "Veolia's Arden branded products are widely respected for poultry bedding solutions, and Agribed now adds an important circular economy solution that can help reduce costs in the industry.

“By recycling an underused source of material this further helps to reduce waste, increases sustainability for the industry, and also has the potential for cutting carbon.

"During a period of uncertainty in many supply chains, the Agribed product now offers high quality bedding options and will help maintain consistent reliable supplies at affordable prices.”