Associated Food Stores to Cut Recycling Costs in New Partnership

Associated Food Stores (AFS) and Rocky Mountain Recycling (RMR), the largest recycler in the intermountain West, have joined forces to boost the grocery wholesaler's sustainability efforts.

According to current projections, the collaboration will enable AFS to lower its waste flow from 20 percent 40 percent, considerably reduce the amount of money being spent on trash pickup, and boost profitability as retailers begin getting paid to recycle.

"AFS has been looking for a recycling partner, and RMR was the one company that offered the types of services that will enable us to provide services throughout the entire retail membership," AFS marketing specialist Jason Sokol explained to Progressive Grocer. "RMR is now providing recycling and consultation services to AFS to help the company learn about the many recycling opportunities it has, and how to minimize the waste that is currently going into our local landfills."

According to Sokol, the partnership was initially formed in June, and RMR began providing services to the AFS warehouses in June. AFS's 24 corporate stores began working with RMR in July, and the wholesaler launched its corporate office-recycling program yesterday. RMR's services are now available to all of AFS' retail members, with new stores joining the program each week.

"The exciting part for AFS is that we are a locally owned and operated company serving independent retailers, [and we] are now working with another local company to provide a valuable service that is makes both good business sense and helps us make a positive environmental impact," said Sokol.

AFS has additionally been working on several other sustainability initiatives, including a deskside recycling program and improving the company's trucking fleet.

Salt Lake City-based AFS is an independent retailer-owned warehouse providing complete warehouse facilities and services to almost 500 grocers in eight Western states.

Rocky Mountain Recycling operates two large operations in Salt Lake County, as well as satellite facilities in Denver, Las Vegas, and St. George, Utah.
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