Justin Dickey

  • Industry: Food and Beverage
  • Project Type: Food Waste Reduction
  • Location: Milwaukie, OR
  • Major/University: Environmental Economics and Policy, Oregon State University



Justin’s internship at Bob’s Red Mill focused on reducing food waste within packaging operations. Justin applied lean manufacturing tools, observed processes, collaborated with employees, and created an incentive program to encourage data reporting.

Potential Impacts

Justin's recommendations could have the following annual impacts:





113,990 lbs.

Reduced Solid Waste


1,800 metric tons

Reduced CO2 Emissions


Bob’s Red Mill is a 100% employee-owned manufacturer of whole grain foods. The company prides itself on producing quality food and is dedicated to researching and implementing innovative solutions to prevent waste. Bob’s Red Mill aims to mitigate their environmental impact by reducing food waste (“scrap”), solid waste and carbon emissions throughout production. The company has established a Scrap Team to further its commitment to pollution prevention and has achieved its first goal of reducing scrap by 10% in 2023.


Justin focused on the two leading causes of food waste in Bob’s Red Mill operations; pre-sealed stand-up pouch packaging and machinery calibration. He observed the food packaging process and interviewed employees to determine where in the process the most scrap was being produced. Justin identified and put into place several recommendations:

  • Establish an audit system allowing operators to report stand-up pouches that are unintentionally pre-sealed and which prevent machinery from efficiently opening packaging to fill with product. Data collection was accomplished by using a QR code linked to a Microsoft form to consolidate key information about the pre-sealed bags.
  • Create a program designed to allow recognition and drive adoption of the audit system through peer-to-peer teaching. Bob’s Red Mill gives incentives to employees that teach others about the pre-sealed bag reporting.
  • Calibrate the packaging machinery to better detect pre-sealed stand-up pouches to improve efficiency and prevent food from being discharged when a closed bag is present. This is done by “centerlining” or  evaluating machine performance and setup to determine optimal settings.