Stop & Shop is one of the largest supermarket chains in New England, operating over 400 stores across five states. Like other supermarkets, their stores generate a variety of recyclable and compostable materials, including cardboard, plastics, and food waste. As the company works towards a 50% reduction in wasted food by 2030, efforts have become more centralized. CBS Boston recently reported on the waste diversion programs at the company’s distribution center in Freetown.
The distribution center estimates they collect 200 trucks full of recyclables and food material from their store locations each day. In addition to recycling traditional items such as cardboard and aluminum cans, Stop & Shop partners with Trex to recycle film plastics such as shrink wrap and plastic bags. Trex pelletizes the plastics to turn into composite materials for decking and other outdoor living products.
Stop & Shop is also diverting a large quantity of food from disposal. The supermarket chain donates edible food for distribution through The Greater Boston Food Bank and Rhode Island Community Food Bank. The remaining inedible food goes to the facility’s depackager and then to their anaerobic digester, which processes 95 tons of food waste per day. The methane gas produced in the digester is used to generate some of the energy that powers the distribution center.
RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) has worked with supermarkets across the state to identify opportunities for waste diversion. RecyclingWorks offers sector-specific guidance for supermarkets, including a food waste estimation guide and case studies featuring grocery stores. To learn more about our no-cost assistance or speak to a recycling and food waste expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.