Fareway Ends Container Redemption Program
Fareway Meat & Grocery will no longer accept containers for redemption at its Iowa stores. The new policy takes effect July 25 with the expiration of the Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds' emergency declaration for COVID-19.
The grocer said that accepting potentially contaminated containers inside its stores presents a great risk of harm to the health and safety of employees and customers, noting the potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus through respiratory droplets.
Each store has posted a list of nearby redemption centers for bottles and cans to encourage customers to take their containers to one of these businesses or nonprofits with outside collection bins.
"Allowing used containers to be returned in our stores puts our employees and customers at risk, and runs counterproductive to the many safety and sanitation initiatives we have implemented in order to keep people safe," said Reynolds W. Cramer, president and CEO of Fareway Stores Inc. "At its core, our actions in rejecting container redemption inside our stores is to minimize potential harm to the communities we serve, while offering our customers alternative redemption options."
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Fareway has also altered its operating hours to Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the first hour of each day designated for those 65 and over or at higher risk. The early close is said to make time for additional sanitation protocols. Fareway is asking shoppers to leave their reusable bags at home and "be mindful in making one trip per week to your Fareway store."
Boone, Iowa-based Fareway currently operates 123 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The company is No. 79 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.