The Frito-Lay plant in Topeka now boasts a Gold Certificate for “going green.” It has slashed its use of water and energy to become only the second food manufacturing facility in the United States to earn the recognition.
It will soon become even more helpful to the environment. It is building a large biofuel boiler that will turn yard waste from the area into steam and reduce its use of natural gas by about 80 percent.
When the project is completed, Iola should visit and learn.
If Frito Lay can run its huge plant on yard waste, Iola and other towns in rural Kansas should be able to turn farm leftovers into energy efficiently. Wheat straw, corn stalks and similar non-food residue from food crops surely can be turned into fuel pellets as readily as grass and shrub trimmings and whatever else the company plans to collect from Topeka’s yards.
We need new eyes; eyes that can look at straw and see energy that will heat homes and produce electricity; eyes that can look at Bermuda clippings, piles of leaves and tree branches broken by a heavy wind and see slices of potatoes deep-fried into chips.
— Emerson Lynn, jr.