Local company solves food-waste problem

SA-owned environmental services company Oricol Environmental Services takes waste from the food production industry and turns it into a cost-effective resource for smallholders and farmers.

Through its waste management contracts with a number of large food production companies, Oricol takes delivery of raw food waste as well as products that, for a number of reasons, are no longer fit for human consumption.

At Oricol’s East Rand materials recovery facility, the waste is dried, crushed, mixed into a dough and baked at very high temperatures.

The resulting “biscuits” are then milled to a coarse crumb-like state and sold to livestock owners as a cheaper and environmentally-friendly feed supplement.

Turning food waste into animal feed has a lower environmental impact than waste management routes such as anaerobic digestion or composting.

Internationally it is regarded as a form of waste prevention guided by the principles of the Food Waste Hierarchy, which helps food production companies reduce their environmental impact.

Waste Hierarchy

Oricol also assists its customers in disposing of vegetable waste such as potato peels and maize (kernels, cobs and husks). These are sold to livestock farmers.

In some cases, the company's larger clients - commercial farmers - are then able to silage the maize on-site, creating a feed for their herds which they will use for up to a year.

For smaller farmers without silage facilities, these vegetable products can be added to feed to supplement diets for as long as the products remain edible.

Oricol's animal feed operation is only one of its waste-management services which sees the company offering customers collection, disposal and resource recovery services for all streams of waste, including liquid waste, paper and board, various plastics, glass, metal and e-waste.

“We aim to manage waste in a way that services the environment,” says Oricol animal feeds division sales consultant, Jacques Niemandt.

The company, which has been in operation since 2002, aims to reduce the quantity of waste stored in landfills and reduce the depletion of non-renewable resources.

In 2019, Oricol measured over a 60% diversion of waste from landfill through innovative ways of turning waste into a resource, recycling and waste treatment.

Oricol's animal feed is registered according to the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies & Stock Remedies Act of 1947, which means the quality of the feed and balance of its ingredients is regulated and controlled.

The company works closely with animal nutritionists to ensure that its products are viable as animal feed.

Oricol's facilities are audited and meet SABS approved standards for Environmental (ISO 14001- 2015), Quality (ISO 9001- 2015) and Health & Safety (OHSAS 18001-2007).

Oricol's animal feed clients include large beef and dairy farms who find the high fat, high protein supplement enriches their feed and creates better quality beef and milk. Pig farmers have also found success with the products.

Smallholders with a limited number of animals can also buy smaller quantities, for example, bakkie loads, of Oricol's supplement.

Niemandt explains that the feed is competitively priced, and could help livestock owners in overcoming the costs associated with rising food prices due to drought and other external factors.

  • This article was first published in the February 2020 issue of the Gauteng Smallholder Magazine 
  • For more information contact Oricol Environmental Services on 011 922 5900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Oricol has been deemed an “essential service” by the provision of waste removal services.
We will therefore make ourselves available to provide waste management services to your company, should you be operational during the lockdown period. Please note it is essential to notify us if you will be requiring our services over this period in order for us to adequately prepare our staff to be available to render the service.
 To our valued clients, please notify us accordingly should you not be requiring our services during this period.