Being aware of the great importance of the environment nowadays, our final aim has been creating a factory as “ecological” as possible, introducing some innovations in this regard. For this, two main actions will be carried out:
1º.- The installation of solar panels for the maximum use of the abundant sunlight that we have in this region, especially in summer when we reach an average temperature of around 40º. Then, such panels are used to heat the water before going through the boiler, thereby reducing to a large extent the fuel normally used for this purpose and eliminating with this measure the possible contamination produced by the fumes of the boiler.
2º.- Another innovation that will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Castilla la Mancha is the construction of a plant for the purification and reuse of the liquid effluents of the factory in the surroundings of Finca Villadiego. Bearing the environment always in mind, the target is reaching the purification of the effluents generated by the cheese activity as well as achieving the reuse of the water once treated with an optimum quality.
The purpose of the wastewater project is to treat the effluents generated with soft technologies by using biological and ecological processes to the extent of making their application possible.
The following two streams appear as effluents generated in the process of producing Manchego cheese:
- The washing waters that are generated as a result of washing both the facilities and the equipment used in the manufacturing process of Manchego cheese.
- The by-product whey generated by the separation of whey from the curd in the elaboration of Manchego cheese, given that this by-product is not valued with regard to the line of activities developed in the cheese dairy.
The whey in the cheese factory represents 77.5% of the volume of processed milk. This volume of whey from sheep’s milk and rennet, coming from cheese making, contains a large number of milk nutrients (lactose, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, etc.), which are not used in the cheese production.
As an alternative for the elimination of these liquid waste generated as a result of Manchego cheese production, we have opted for the purification proposed in this project.