Germantown, Wis. — Sendik’s Food Markets and Waste Management (NYSE: WM) today announced plans to convert produce and plants discarded from ten area Sendik’s stores into compost for landscaping.

PILOT PROJECT EXPANDS
A pilot effort that began June 4 at Sendik’s Germantown store has already recovered more than 7,600 pounds of compostable material, said Ted Balistreri, who co-owns Sendik’s with his brothers Nick and Patrick and sister Margaret Harris. The program is popular with employees and meshed seamlessly into store operations, he noted.

That success is prompting Sendik’s and Waste Management to expand the program to Sendik’s stores in Grafton, Greenfield and West Bend this week and an additional six stores in Elm Grove, Franklin, Mequon, New Berlin, Wauwatosa and Whitefish Bay by November 1, Balistreri said.

“Our customers want the best for their families and the best for Mother Earth, too,” Balistreri said. “Recycling is the right thing to do.”

Sendik’s stores already recycle cardboard and donate food to Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin, he said, leaving food and plant waste as the single largest byproduct of the grocer’s operations.

HOW ORGANICS RECYCLING WORKS
Employees at the stores segregate unwanted produce and plants for recycling, including flowers, fruits and vegetables past their prime and trimmings from in-store food preparation. They drop those materials into designated organics carts for collection by Waste Management.

Waste Management is collecting the organic materials in a unique vehicle called a Rotopress, one of only four such units operating in North America, said Waste Management spokeswoman Lynn Morgan. Rotopress is ideally suited for collecting food waste, she said, because it is sealed to contain odors and liquid and has an internal rotor that continually moves the heavy material forward to ensure even weight distribution. Unlike typical waste collection vehicles that run on diesel, the Rotopress unit is powered by clean-burning natural gas.

The Rotopress delivers the material to Waste Management’s composting operation in Germantown, where Sendik’s material is mixed with yard debris from area communities in large piles, or windrows. As the windrows decompose, the mixture becomes a rich, uniform soil additive that Waste Management supplies to a leading lawn care company for sale to consumers.

“We’re on a mission to extract maximum value from the materials we handle,” Morgan said. “For this project, we’re tapping the latest clean-technology trucks to restore the ancient practice of using food byproducts to enrich soil.”

ABOUT SENDIK’S
Since 1926, the Balistreri family’s Sendik’s Food Markets have been serving the greater Milwaukee community by combining quality food products with exceptional customer service. Their goal is to provide you with the best grocery shopping experience, period. Currently, Sendik’s Food Markets operates 10 stores throughout Southeastern Wisconsin: Elm Grove, Franklin, Germantown, Grafton, Greenfield, Mequon, New Berlin, Wauwatosa, West Bend and Whitefish Bay. To learn more, visit www.sendiksmarket.com.

ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is the largest recycler in North America and a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. For more information about Waste Management, visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.

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General, Official Press Releases | August 2nd, 2012