Supermarket Waste: Where Does It Go?

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At some point, you have probably found yourself in a grocery store wondering what happens to the overripe bananas or the holiday-themed sheet cakes that do not sell. All of those things can’t end up in the trash, can they?

In the past, that might have been the case. However, organic food waste recycling is an up-and-coming industry that provides supermarkets an alternative to sending their unusables to landfills.

“Just about everything that comes out of a grocery store has the ability to be recycled,” said Brian Dick, CEO at Quest Recycling Services.

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Photo: Shutterstock

When Food Becomes Trash

“A typical grocery store will see about 35 percent of the overall trash compactor is organic food waste, whether that’s produce, bakery, dairy, fruits or vegetables,” Dick said.

Supermarkets see a need for an alternative to throwing these materials away and companies like Quest Recycling, whose food waste recycling program began in 2009, can often help recycle food waste for no more money than sending it to landfill.

Over 4,000 stores in all 50 states participate in Quest Recycling’s organic food waste program. The company orchestrates the pick-up, transport and, if applicable, the processing of food items, which is usually done at facilities within 60 to 90 miles of the supermarkets.

 

Continue reading: Where does the food end up?

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