Veolia to ‘transform’ paper waste into poultry bedding

Veolia says it hopes to meet a quarter of the UK demand for poultry bedding with the introduction of a product made using waste from the paper industry.

Veolia developed Agribed to support the welfare of chickens and turkeys

Veolia says its organics team developed ‘Agribed’ to support the welfare of chickens and turkeys.

The production process takes discarded fibre from pulping processes at paper and cardboard mills in the northeast and west of England and “transforms” it into a kiln-dried paper crumb bedding for use in poultry sheds.

Veolia says the waste paper used in Agribed’s production will originate from “multiple sources” and predominantly waste tissue paper from manufacturing.

The company will produce Agribed under its Arden brand, which supplies bedding materials to the equestrian industry, poultry and dairy farmers, agricultural colleges and dairy research centres.

Donald Macphail, Veolia’s chief operating officer for treatment, said: “Veolia’s Arden-branded products are widely respected for poultry bedding solutions and Agribed now adds an important circular economy solution that can help reduce costs in the industry.

“By recycling an underused source of material this further helps to reduce waste, increases sustainability for the industry and also has the potential for cutting carbon.

“During a period of uncertainty in many supply chains, the Agribed product now offers high quality bedding options and will help maintain consistent reliable supplies at affordable prices.”

A spokesperson for Veolia told letsrecycle.com the UK demand for poultry bedding was currently around 240,000 tonnes a year.


Working alongside 300 poultry famers, Veolia says Agribed is approved by Defra, the Environment Agency and Red Tractor for use as animal bedding.

By recycling an underused source of material this further helps to reduce waste

  • Donald Macphail, Veolia’s chief operating officer for treatment

Agribed is sterile, Veolia says, and “helps to optimise bird health and welfare” as its high absorbency ensures that poultry sheds stay drier for longer.

The material also acts as an effective insulator, Veolia says. The company claims Agribed’s composition and pH “actively reduces” ammonia and pododermatitis, a common inflammatory condition affecting the bottom of a chicken’s foot.

Once they finish with the Agribed, poultry famers can use it to produce renewable heat, Veolia says, and the resulting ash can be used as a soil conditioner.


Veolia acquired Solihull-based Arden Wood Shavings to expand its presence in the wood recycling sector in October 2017 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Arden will produce Agribed at its automated manufacturing facility, which uses screening, blending, dust-extraction and treatment processes “that meet clean bio-secure standards”.

Arden has more than 40 years’ experience of producing and supplying a range of livestock bedding, primarily for the poultry, dairy and equestrian sectors.

Alongside Agribed, Arden produces its flagship ‘Safemix’ bedding from wood shavings and sawdust.

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