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Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan visited the Big Y Foods location in Franklin, Mass. to present Energy Recognition and Supermarket Recycling Program certificates and tour the new store.
"As we work toward the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the nation, it is important to recognize our friends in the business community who are making a difference with meaningful energy and environment initiatives," said secretary Sullivan, who acknowledged Big Y as a leader in energy efficiency, recycling and composting.
"All of us at Big Y are proud of our ongoing efforts to enhance our environment whether it be through reduced energy consumption, better building materials, solar power, composting produce waste, encouraging recycling, or electric vehicle charging stations," said Charles L. D'Amour, president and COO, Big Y. “We pledge to continue to make our home in Massachusetts a better place in the future.”
The new Franklin store will feature advanced temperature controls, efficient lighting design, and a rooftop solar array which the grocer said will offset 15 percent of the store’s power.
In addition to its energy efficiency, Big Y has achieved chain-wide certification from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for the Supermarket Recycling Program, meaning that more than 80 percent of Big Y stores have programs in place to divert organics, cardboard and shrink wrap from disposal. This recycling program helps each participating store save thousands of dollars per year in avoided disposal costs.
“Food waste and other organic materials represent a quarter of today’s solid waste, amounting to more than 1 million tons a year,” said MassDEP commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “The 300 recycling certified supermarkets in Massachusetts, including the Big Y stores, have recognized that not only can they protect the environment through aggressive recycling, they can also save money and be a leader in their community.”
Springfield, Mass.-based, independently owned Big Y operates 66 locations throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts with over 10,000 employees. Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D'Amour, the store was named after an intersection in Chicopee, Mass. where two roads converge to form a "Y."