Listen Now: Bug Business: How Cockroaches Are Helping Clean Up China
For most of us a cockroach is an unwelcome sight. In China it’s big business.
Expanding cities in China are generating more food waste than they can manage so cockroaches are being brought in to handle the excess food. The cockroaches get rid of the scraps then when they die the livestock eats them.
The cockroaches are also used as cures for stomach illness and beauty treatments. And with so many uses for the bug some business savvy people are setting up plants aimed at processing waste using cockroaches at a faster pace. This means putting roaches in small cages and delivering the waste directly to them through pipes.
The air inside these plants is kept warm and humid, the way cockroaches like it to ensure their appetites remain healthy. And with suitable conditions they are profitable workers. A billion cockroaches can eat fifty tons of kitchen waste a day, the equivalent in weight to several adult elephants.
When asked about the chance of escape, plant owners say they take precautions but that would be one job walkout no one could afford.
CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.
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