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Walmart Diverts Foodwaste from Landfills to Farms

Walmart is one of the companies diverting tons of excess food to farmers in southwestern Pennsylvania who are turning it into usable compost in their fields.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that six farmers formed the Neshannock Soil Builders Cooperative two years ago. A legal agreement brokered by the Pennsylvania Resources Council with an $85,000 US Department of Agriculture grant has diverted the waste to the farmers who have received more than 1,800 tons since May. Most has come from four Walmart stores in the Pittsburgh area.

The Pennsylvania Resources Council hopes to sign on more farmers and more waste sources and to procure funding to continue the program. The federal grant ran out in December.

Almost 1 million tons of compostable waste goes to landfills every year in southwestern Pennsylvania. The diversion of food waste to improve soil is a bonus to small farmers, who are paid based on the tonnage they accept. Farmers convert other waste streams to reduce energy consumption.

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One thought on “Walmart Diverts Foodwaste from Landfills to Farms

  1. Converting food to fertilizer by Walmart should be their last resort considering the very low return on energy, material, and water that were invested in the food.
    The large amount of fresh food waste is a lose-lose situation for retailer, the environment, and the struggling families in today’s tough economy.
    We should address the food waste problem in every link in our fresh food supply chain. For example, the excess inventory of perishable food items close to their expiration on supermarket shelves causes waste.
    The consumer “Last In First Out” shopping behavior might be one of the weakest links of the fresh food supply chain.
    Why not encourage efficient consumer shopping behavior by offering him automatic and dynamic purchasing incentives for perishables approaching their expiration dates before they end up in a landfill?
    The new emerging GS1 DataBar standard enables automatic applications that offer dynamic incentives for perishables approaching their expiration dates.
    The “End Grocery Waste” application, which is based on GS1 DataBar standard, encourages efficient consumer shopping behavior that maximizes grocery retailer revenue, makes fresh food affordable for all families and effectively reduces the global carbon footprint. You can look this application up at EndGroceryWaste site.

    Chicago, IL

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