LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here, which has made sustainability a primary corporate initiative in the past 24 months, recently ended a food-waste recycling program at 85 of its stores in South Florida that used an alternative recycling technology.
The program concluded on March 14 after the chain's composting partner, Organic Recovery, Pompano Beach, Fla., suspended service at the stores, said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for Publix. “A tough economy did not allow the partnership to continue,” she added. Brous declined to discuss the terms of the agreement with Organic Recovery.
Publix, which launched the program last August, had intended to extend it to all of the 240 stores in its Miami division. The chain has no other current food-waste initiatives, though “we are currently researching additional, viable alternatives,” said Brous.
Organic Recovery announced last August that it had opened a facility in Pompano Beach that would service the Publix stores, collecting food waste and using “food residual recycling technology” to create a “liquid soil amendment.” The project was praised at the time by Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
Organic Recovery formed a partnership with Organic Recovery Development, Morristown, N.J., which describes itself on its website as “a group of experienced development and finance professionals” whose aim is to create an “alternative to the current disposal of food wastes in landfills, composting facilities or anaerobic digesters.”
Organic Recovery could not be reached for comment, and Organic Recovery Development did not respond to requests for comment.