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HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) has many benefits for those who wish to recycle organic residuals (biosolids, treated biowastes etc.) sustainably. This paper will explore these benefits from the perspective of somebody who has in the past developed and managed world-class biosolids recycling operations and who has helped others to apply HACCP.

Frequently the response of people from a regulated industry is to ask what regulations they have to comply with. That might be appropriate for a passive receptor, such as a river into which recovered water is to be discharged, but is it appropriate when preparing organic residuals for recycling, which by definition relies on creating demand in voluntary receptors? Relying on regulation also presupposes that they are able to anticipate all of the risks for every type of residual – producer responsibility and due diligence can be more powerful.

HACCP provides a structured approach to looking at all of the hazards that might "challenge" the sustainability of a "product" (as defined in terms of properties and uses by the producer) and managing the risks to acceptable levels. A producer that considers all of the hazards is much less vulnerable to surprises. The producer that also understands HACCP is able to focus resources where they will have maximum cost effectiveness. HACCP provides traceability and assurance of consistent quality in the final product but with reduced expenditure on testing. It demonstrates due diligence and requires producers to decide on corrective actions that will bring the product back into specification (if something should go wrong). Finally it is a procedure that has the confidence of the food industry, which is one of the major stakeholders, because it is the heart of their product assurance too. This paper will be based on practical experience, not just theory, but will not break confidences.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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