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With Earth Day just around the corner, 30 Albertsons stores located in the greater Las Vegas area, Henderson, and Boulder have reached an environmental milestone, diverting over 90 percent of all store waste from local landfills.
“Albertsons ultimate goal is to eliminate waste from store operations and I couldn’t be more proud of the leadership our Las Vegas Albertsons stores have show in this area,” said Sue Klug, president of Albertsons Las Vegas and Southern California division. “Whether it be donating food to families in need or keeping millions of pounds of waste out of local landfills, we have seen how this effort makes a difference in our communities. Aspiring to eliminate landfill waste is a journey we hope our customers will appreciate and also join us in pursuing.”
Accomplished through an innovate approach to recycling, organic composting and food donations, these stores combined to keep 21,170,340 million pounds of waste out of local landfills and donate 3.5 million meals to local food bank and hunger relief efforts in the past year.
Albertsons will celebrate this feat by sponsoring an Earth Day coloring contest, called, “How My Family Reduces, Reuses and Recycles,” for Las Vegas students in grades K-6.
Students are being invited to draw a picture illustrating how their families reduce, re-use, and recycle waste while at home. Ten winners will be selected and each will receive $150 in Albertsons gift cards.
The goal of the Albertsons zero waste program is to eliminate landfill waste from operations, with 90 percent total waste diversion marking the first milestone in the program. This effort places a significant emphasis on each store’s ability to maximize total waste reduction and requires a serious commitment from store associates.
Here are some of the changes that have resulted since the program began:
- At the end of 2007, these 30 Albertsons stores were generating an average of 1,588 lbs of waste each day per store.
- Today, each store is averaging just over 100 lbs of landfill waste per day, a 93.2 percent reduction in total landfill waste resulting from these stores.
- Albertsons has eliminated 978 full garbage truck trips annually to the landfill, equivalent to a line of trucks stretching five miles long.
To achieve recognition in Supervalu and Albertsons zero waste program, an individual store must divert a minimum of 90 percent of all waste from landfills, and set a goal to continue working toward 100 percent waste reduction. These stores were recently audited by Supervalu’s sustainability team and internally certified as having a total landfill diversion rate of over 90 percent.
A key piece of Albertsons waste diversion efforts is its Fresh Rescue Program, which captures fresh items such as meat, dairy and produce that have reached their "sell by" date, but are still edible and safe, and donates them to local nonprofit organizations. In Las Vegas, Albertsons donated to several hunger relief organizations including Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and Three Square Food Bank.
In late 2010, two Albertsons stores in Santa Barbara, Calif. became the first U.S. retail grocery stores to reach this environmental milestone by diverting over 90 percent of waste from landfills. In June of 2011, Supervalu announced a commitment to transition 40 additional stores to this milestone.
Albertsons is part of the Supervalu family of grocery stores, and operates 447 Albertsons and Lucky supermarkets in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.