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WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Shaw's Supermarkets here is reportedly testing new earth-friendly juice extractors that squeeze water and juice from fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded, producing a pulp that can be used by consumers and farmers as free compost or animal food.
The chain has installed the German-made machines in the produce preparation areas of 30 Shaw's locations, and another 30 stores are getting the devices, according to a local press report.
Shaw's parent company, Supervalu, Inc., made the decision to pilot the program at the New England banner because of the region's high landfill costs, Supervalu senior manager of resource conservation and environmental stewardship Tom McIntyre told the Boston Herald.
The 10 Shaw's locations that use the extractor the most have so far cut their produce waste 22 percent over a four-month period, according to McIntyre.
"The savings that we've had for those 10 stores was 291 tons," he was quoted as saying. "The program is brand-new. No one in the industry has really tried something like this."
Consumers interested in using the waste can speak with the manager of their local Shaw’s store.
Shaw's will assess the pilot after a year to determine the cost-effectiveness of the extractors, which run from $15,000 to $20,000.
In other Shaw's news, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based redbox said this week it has started installing DVD rental kiosks in 185 Shaw's stores in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.