MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu here said two of its Albertsons stores in Santa Barbara, Calif., are among the first supermarkets to achieve a "zero waste" classification in their daily operations, with more than 95% of all waste products being recycled, reused or composted.
One of the two stores has reached 95.9% in total waste diversion, the other 95.1%, the company said, through a combination of recycling programs, food donations and a joint composting program with the city of Santa Barbara. A 90% threshold is commonly recognized as zero waste, the chain pointed out.
The two stores combined annually divert an average of 2 million pounds of waste from landfills, including 808,000 pounds of cardboard; 27,500 pounds of plastic; and nearly 2,700 pounds of paper. Albertsons is also donating an average of nearly 150,000 pounds of staple and perishable products per year to a local food bank, and it has partnered with the city to establish a citywide composting program, which accepted 4 million pounds of food scraps this year from 120 participants.
"In addition to keeping waste out of landfills, we are charting a course for the future of our stores," said Rick Crandall, director of sustainability for Albertsons.