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Jerry’s Enterprises Inc. has achieved zero-waste operation in all of its Twin Cities metro food stores.
In a program launched in 2010, Jerry’s stores have successfully reduced more than 90 percent of all operations waste by diverting from landfills through waste reduction and recycling efforts for 24 consecutive months. The multifaceted sustainability program involves all store-generated waste including cardboard and paper waste, animal by-products and used cooking oils, and a food rescue program.
Jerry’s waste diversion program was spearheaded more than two years ago by Gary Munson, Jerry’s corporate director of retail operations, and Steve Berry, a consultant for Waste Technology Inc.
“We are delighted to be working with a company as forward thinking as Jerry’s Enterprises,” said Brad Brueske, WTI vice president. “Together with corporate and store management, we are proud to have successfully implemented a program diverting over 90 percent of our waste to organic rendering, aluminum and corrugated cardboard recycling, providing a more sustainable solution for 13 Jerry’s stores.”
In the most recent quarter of 2012, WTI collected more than 4.1 million pounds of waste from 13 Jerry’s Foods, County Markets and Cub stores in the Twin Cities’ metro area and Hudson, Wis. Of this amount, more than 3.9 million pounds were recycled. WTI uses state-of-the-art processing technology to create a quality high-energy ingredient for the livestock industry. Once the usable items are removed, the remainder is burned to create the energy used in the manufacturing process.
The food rescue program, part of Jerry’s Sustainability Initiative, is a partnership with Second Harvest Heartland. Each week, Second Harvest collects reusable produce, dairy, meat, bakery and shelf-stable items such as dented cans and cut, unopened packages, which are distributed to local programs, soup kitchens and shelters throughout a 59-county area. Millions of pounds of high quality, nutritious foods that might otherwise be discarded are rescued and delivered to where they are needed most.
During the second quarter, Jerry’s sent nearly 2.2 million pounds of cardboard to RockTenn to be turned into pizza cartons, cereal and cake mix boxes, paper bags and many other containers that are used every day.
Edina, Minn.-based Jerry’s Enterprises operates Jerry’s Foods stores in Edina and Eden Prairie, Minn., and Sanibel, Fla.; 14 Cub Foods stores in the Twin Cities; three County Market stores in North Branch, Minn., and Hudson and Wausau, Wis.; and 16 Save-A-Lot food stores in Wisconsin and Florida.