The Richland ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston plant is celebrating 40 years in business.
Each day, more than 450 employees at the plant turn tons of locally grown potatoes into millions of pounds of french fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns and other favorite products for restaurants and retailers around the world.
The plant opened in 1972 under the Pride Pak name and became part of Lamb Weston in 1978.
The Richland plant is one of seven Lamb Weston plants in the Columbia Basin. Each year, the Richland plant, along with the six others, processes 11 billion potatoes from Columbia Basin fields. That's enough potatoes to fill 350 football fields 6 feet deep.
Thanks to employee efforts, the Richland facility has been named a Zero Waste Champion by ConAgra Foods.
Employees have helped divert more than 95 percent of plant waste away from landfills by focusing on recycling and other green projects, according to a news release.
The Richland plant also has received an Energy Star certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the past three years.
Lamb Weston, ConAgra Foods' largest brand, is the largest potato processor in Washington, and one of the largest global producers.