Waste Management for Milk Factories in Kenya

Waste Management for Milk Factories in Kenya

Proper practices in waste management for milk factories in Kenya cannot be over-emphasized. A milk factory generates significant waste, including animal products, packaging, and cleaning materials. Proper waste management is essential to reducing the environmental impact of the factory and complying with regulations.

With the ever-growing population and the consequent increase in the demand for milk and milk products, the dairy industry has been under pressure to increase its production. That has led to the increased use of technology, and intensive farming practices, which have, in turn, led to increased waste generation. Therefore, the dairy industry in Kenya is under pressure to develop efficient waste management strategies to deal with this waste.

If you are wondering what kind of waste milk processing factories produce, the impact of the waste on the environment, and how to effectively manage that waste, this is a must-read post.

Table of Contents

Dairy waste is all the materials that are not useful in any way during milk processing. These materials include spillage, contaminated milk, unused packaging materials, and wastewater.

Types of Waste in Milk Factories

The following are the main types of waste generated during milk processing:

  • Solid Waste. The sludge or slurry from wastewater management for creameries in Kenya can be said to be the only solid waste in milk factories. In aerobic and anaerobic wastewater purification, a percentage of solids are left after the process. In solid waste management for milk factories in Kenya, most are used as organic fertilizers, while others are used as raw materials in animal feed processing.
  • Gas emissions. Air pollution in milk factories is due to the gaseous emissions from the many energy processes. In these factories, there are holding tanks, chilling tanks, heating tanks, etc., all of which use some form of energy to remain operational. While using the said energy, gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and sulfates are released into the atmosphere. These gases are the ones that cause air pollution in and around milk factories.
  • Liquid waste. In waste treatment for creameries in Kenya, liquid waste (wastewater) makes up about 95% of the total waste. Therefore, it can be said the primary waste concern for milk processing factories is wastewater.

Wastewater Management for Creameries in Kenya

As we have seen above, wastewater management for creameries in Kenya is a big problem for these factories. That is because liquid waste makes up more than 95% of the total waste. That means most waste management resources are geared toward liquid waste treatment and disposal.

Sources of wastewater in milk factories

The following are the leading causes of wastewater in creameries in Kenya:

i. Receiving milk. When milk is being received in the factory, the containers from the farmers are washed after emptying. During the transfer, there will also be spillages. All the water used to clean the empty containers and the floor of the receiving point is a part of the overall wastewater of the entire factory. The wastewater contains milk solids, detergents, sanitisers, and milk wastes.

ii. Milk products. The production stations/ units used to produce milk products need cleaning after the product has been made. Also, if the same production station is used to make different products, the station will need to be cleaned between products. That means there will be a substantial amount of wastewater from these production stations.

iii. Production of cheese, whey, and curd. After making cheese, whey, and curd, the floors and machines in the production will need to be cleaned. That exercise generates a lot of wastewater in the factory. The wastewater contains solid particles from these products.

iv. Butter/ ghee production. Strictly speaking, butter is considered a waste product of milk processing. The continuous washing of butter generates wash water which contains buttermilk. Using buttermilk to make skim milk powder is an effective way of reducing the need for constant washing and the amount of buttermilk contained in the wastewater.

v. Milk powder production. A lot of milk dust is produced during the production of milk powder. The milk dust will need to be cleaned from time to time to avoid accumulation. The wah water will contain a lot of milk particles.

In short, in waste treatment for creameries, waste and waste sources are simply classified as:

  • Damages/spoiled raw and manufactured milk products.
  • Buttermilk, whey, and skim milk, byproducts of milk processing.
  • Spillage and overflow of milk products.
  • Washing or rinsing equipment and factory floor.
  • Wash water from coolers, ice machines, boilers, and roof drains.
  • Lubricants from casers, stackers, and conveyors.

Wastewater Management for Creameries in Kenya

Just like other factories like sugar factories, slaughterhouses, tea factories, coffee factories, etc., milk factories should have wastewater treatment plants to effectively manage their effluent.

Biozone Wastewater Treatment Plant

For better waste treatment for creameries, you will need to know about the various wastewater treatment options available to you. At Biozone Kenya, we offer consultancy based on the kind of liquid waste you generate so that you may be better placed to have the best liquid waste treatment plant for your milk factory. Biozone offers three alternatives for wastewater management for creameries in Kenya, as explained below:

1. Primary Liquid Waste Treatment plant

Biological treatment is not always the best, or at least not the complete solution to all wastewater from milk factories. The wide range of possible impurities in creamery wastewater streams sometimes requires the employment of several physical-chemical treatment steps to remove the contaminants to a level that will allow for the discharge or reuse of the wastewater.

Dissolved contaminants, suspended matter, fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can require other technologies and solutions for effective treatment. For a low-cost industrial-grade liquid waste treatment plant, consult Biozone Kenya today.

2. Anaerobic Liquid Waste Treatment Plant

In the absence of oxygen, many groups of anaerobic microorganisms work together to decompose organic matter. The microbiology behind the process is more complex and delicate than that of aerobic processes, where most bacteria work individually. It is the main reason why anaerobic systems require greater control and monitoring in order to perform efficiently.

This type of treatment is very effective in the removal of biodegradable organic compounds in wastewater from creameries. It is especially suitable for organic wastes and wastewater streams highly loaded with organic contaminants. It effectively converts them to mostly methane gas and carbon dioxide, with very little excess sludge generation. 

In wastewater management for creameries in Kenya that are rich in organic milk particles, this treatment plant is the best. For further inquiries or a quotation on an anaerobic wastewater treatment plant for a creamery, contact Biozone.

3. Aerobic Liquid Waste Treatment Plant

Highly effective and able to generate very high-quality effluents, aerobic biological wastewater treatment processes were once the solution applied to treat wastewater from creameries. Nowadays, with far greater emphasis on energy efficiency and the minimization of residuals (i.e. waste sludge), they are mostly utilized as a polishing step after anaerobic treatment.

However, when strict discharge requirements are present, it is still impossible to design a full biological treatment for any type of wastewater without applying at least one aerobic step. Therefore, our portfolio of technologies also includes a variety of different aerobic treatment systems. This way, we are able to offer you a complete range of wastewater treatment solutions able to meet any discharge requirements. For further inquiries on aerobic wastewater management for creameries in Kenya, contact Biozone Kenya.

Liquid Waste Treatment Enzymes and Microbes

Biozone Environzyme BFB

The Environzyme BFB is a microbiological combination of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and multi enzymes that break down wastewater to clean effluent. It is a dry free flowing powder that contains a concentrated source of free-flowing hydrolytic enzymes and ten strains of natural bacteria that are capable of producing enzymes in wastewater treatment systems under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

Whether it is in the Biozone Wastewater Treatment Plants or an existing wastewater treatment plant already in your creamery, the Environzyme BFB is the enzyme and microbial formula you will need to effectively break down and digest organic matter.

The notable advantages of Environzyme BFB are:

  • More volumes will be digested and hence the sludge volume will be reduced.
  • Eradicates bad odour.
  • To pump and dewater the sludge will be easier.
  • The capacity of your treatment will be increased since more organic matter will be digested.
  • The time taken to digest organic matter is less.
  • The treatment system is easily balanced.
  • The aeration stage in the treatment will be faster and more effective.
  • The digesters will perform evenly and uniformly since the organic matter is properly digested.

Importance of Waste Treatment for Creameries

The following are the reasons why proper waste treatment for creameries is necessary:

  • Saves the environment. Milk particles and other contaminants can cause environmental pollution, especially when they are discharged into water systems. That is because most of the contaminants in milk factory wastewater are organic and will cause a negative impact on aquatic life.
  • Utilization of the byproducts. Proper waste treatment for creameries results in effective utilization of the processing byproducts. Cheese, skimmed milk, milk powder, etc., which are byproducts of milk processing will generate additional revenue for the factory.
  • Production of organic fertilizer. Although in small quantities, the sludge or slurry that remains after aerobic or anaerobic wastewater management for creameries in Kenya makes good organic fertilizer for crop farming. The company can sell the sludge to the supplier farmers or to other factories for making the fertilizer.
  • Energy production. In anaerobic wastewater management for creameries in Kenya, the factory has the chance to generate biogas (methane gas) which can be used as an energy source for the factory. That will reduce the milk processing costs which will mean more profits for the factory.

FAQs About Waste Management for Milk Factories in Kenya

What is the waste produced by milk factories?

Many people ask about the kind of waste generated by milk processing factories. Over 95% of milk factory waste is comprised of wastewater. That is because of the cleaning and rinsing necessary for the successful operation of a milk factory. To avoid milk contamination, any equipment or holding facility that comes into contact with the milk must be cleaned every time a new supply comes. Also, there are a lot of spillages occasioned by milk transfer from one holding to the next, which means the factory floor has to be constantly cleaned.

How does milk factory waste pollute the environment?

There are those who ask how waste from creameries pollutes the environment. The main environmental pollutant of waste from creameries is wastewater. The wastewater contains milk particles, grease, and oils. When these materials are discharged into water bodies, they will decompose since they are mostly organic. Organic decomposition uses oxygen. That means aquatic life will not have enough oxygen since most will be used by the biodegradation process of the organic materials in the wastewater from creameries.


Effective waste management for milk factories in Kenya is essential to protect the environment and human health. There are various waste management options available, and the most suitable option depends on the type and quantity of waste generated. In order to select the most appropriate waste management option, it is important to consider the costs, benefits, and risks involved.

Kenya’s milk factories generate a lot of waste, which can pollute the environment and impact public health. There are a number of ways to manage this waste, including recycling, waste reduction, and proper disposal. By implementing these measures, Kenya’s milk factories can protect the environment and the health of the people.

Waste treatment for creameries requires expertise to ensure it is done right. All the benefits that are accrued from waste management will only happen if the waste treatment facility is expertly designed and constructed. For the best biodigesters for creameries in Kenya and custom-made wastewater treatment plants, contact Biozone. They are leading designers and constructors of wastewater treatment plants and biodigesters in the country.

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