Simmons Foods, Inc.’s Southwest City, Missouri Wastewater Department was named winner of the 2015 Clean Water Award by the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. The Siloam Springs based company won in the full treatment category.
Mark Simmons, Chairman of Simmons Foods commented, “We’ve made some big investments since we won this award in 2007. Our passion to continue delivering on our clean water commitment to the communities of Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas has never been stronger.”
The Simmons Southwest City Complex includes poultry processing, rendering and feed ingredient operations, processing and treating an average of 2.28 million gallons of water per day. Simmons carefully monitors its wastewater to ensure surrounding environments and wildlife are protected from processing plant emissions. The treatment facility has achieved 14 years without a notice of violation, a warning issued by regulators when wastewater does not meet recommended specifications.
“We’ve really pushed innovation, even adapting technologies from other industries to improve what we’re doing here,” said Andy Brashear, the Environmental Manager for Simmons Foods. “We want to be good neighbors.” Simmons uses thermal oxidizing technology to reduce odor emissions from the Southwest City rendering facility. Simmons was the first to use this technology at a rendering facility in the United States.
The Simmons Southwest City Wastewater Team conducts regular tours of the facility. Over the last 15 years, the company has hosted over 600 tour attendees. The facility also hosts various training classes including state approved license renewal classes in partnership with the Crowder College Environmental Science Program.
“We’re very honored by this recognition and love that our communities are involved,” said Todd Simmons, CEO at Simmons Foods. “Our industry has really done a great job working together for the benefit of our communities, and we’re proud to be a leader in that effort. ”
Along with a highly qualified team and 24/7 staffing by licensed operators, the wastewater department works with processing and rendering operations at the complex to conserve and reuse water.
Seth Walters, Director of Environmental Quality added, “It takes a lot of cooperation and coordination to make this system the best it can be. We’re thankful to have the support of the operational leaders here in Southwest City and the commitment from our entire organization.
Walters said the Simmons Southwest City poultry processing plant is one of the most water-efficient in the industry, using approximately two gallons of water less per bird than the industry average.
“In addition to conservation, we’ve also found new ways to reuse wastewater products. We’ve been able to create valuable, high-protein feed ingredients from waste product skimmings,” said Walters. These processes put 130 million pounds of product back into the food chain, rather than being land applied.
“Clean water is a critical part of our culture,” said Mike Davis, Director of Engineering and Environmental Operations at Simmons. “Our operators are knowledgeable, passionate and take pride in their work. Our owners and executive leaders are committed and active. They receive daily reports and even lead facility tours. We have some really impressive equipment, but at the end of the day, the people of Simmons make this a two-time award winning operation.”
USPOULTRY: The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, the award sponsor, represents the entire industry including processors of broilers, turkeys, ducks, eggs and breeding stock as well as allied companies.
About Simmons: Simmons Foods is a vertically integrated supplier of poultry, pet food and feed ingredient solutions based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Founded in 1949, our company remains a privately owned and family-led business. Simmons employs 5,800 team members across more than 30 facilities. We are focused on meeting the specialized needs of top food brands and building long-term relationships with our customers, employees and communities.