"Ain't That Putting Lipstick On Pigs."
The Waste Not Group, a limited liability company, began its initial inquiry into composting in 2017 while researching solutions for swine waste management. What began as a swine waste management idea, grew into a concept for cleaning hog lagoons, then crystalized into a business plan for composting waste into mulch and soil amendments that can be used by farmers to improve soil health. Our name is a nod to the 1772 proverbial saying “waste not want not” whose meaning has been interpreted several ways. “Do not waste anything because you might need it in the future.” “What we preserve today will help preserve us tomorrow” or “wise use of one’s resources will keep one from poverty.”
Hog waste is considered a problem by many people. A review of past research on hog waste disposal in North Carolina conducted by North Carolina State University and North Carolina A and T State University, in cooperation with private companies and hog farmers, identified a variety of innovative technologies that eliminate odor and convert hog waste into marketable products such as biofuels, soil amendments, fertilizers, and other products, but at a high cost to farmers which prohibits incorporation of these new technologies into the farms’ daily operations. Some of the most successful products resulting from the research involved odor control and the separation of liquid waste from solid waste that makes the liquid waste potable and the solid waste available for other uses. The cost factor for most alternative solutions left little to no chance of scalability which also discouraged investment capital from the private sector. The default position was to continue the use of hog lagoons and spray fields which eventually deplete the soil, pollute water, and feed the image of hog farmers as insensitive to their neighbors, human health, and the environment. Hog farmers and their neighbors know the importance of the pork industry to their families, communities, and the state’s economy. We all want viable alternatives.
The United States exports about $600 million dollars in pork annually. North Carolina accounts for about 10% of those exports and is the 6th largest exporter of pork worldwide. The Tar Heel state is the second leading producer of hogs nationally with more than 2100 farms that raise about nine million hogs each year, a perpetual supplier of hog manure which presents a viable commercial opportunity for the development products that use swine waste.
The Waste Not Group considers hog waste an abundant resource that has not yet been tapped to its fullest potential. We intend to make North Carolina a leader in the budding compost industry using hog waste, lagoon management, and innovative technology to create good paying jobs. We aim to improve the current lagoon waste management system by providing regularly scheduled cleanings to remove waste that can be composted into mulch and soil amendments.
The ancient science of composting gives farmers an affordable alternative for swine waste management that reduces their dependence on spray fields. The Waste Not Group aims to bring lagoons into compliance with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality standards to help improve soil, air, and water quality for farmers, their families and neighbors.
For more information on The Waste Not Group, please visit www.wastenotgroup.com