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Hy-Vee Neb. Stores Divert Organic Waste from Landfills

Hy-Vee Inc. by the end of this month will divert all of its organic waste from landfills from its 25 stores in Nebraska as a result of a partnership with agri-food industry environmental solution provider Sanimax.

The Nebraska Hy-Vee stores will divert excess fruits and vegetables, bakery products, solid dairy products and floral clippings with the help of the Sanimax system, which will convert the food waste into compost, biogas and animal feed. Hy-Vee employees at each store will be trained on how to separate the waste to ensure quick and accurate disposal.

As part of the program, Hy-Vee stores will sell compost that is created by its own food recycling; stores with community gardens will also use the compost to fertilize their plots.

Noting that the program is "really coming full circle for our stores and our customers," Tally Mertes, store director at Hy-Vee's 180th and Pacific location said, "Hy-Vee is committed to promoting the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment. This new recycling program is just one way we can help our communities and our customers.”

Mertes estimates that the 25 Hy-Vee stores in Nebraska will divert approximately 150,000 pounds each month.

In March, two Omaha-area Hy-Vee stores were first to begin the program, by diverting a total of 10,000 pounds of waste that month.

With $8.7 billion in sales annually, employee-owned Hy-Vee Inc., which is ranked No. 17 on Progressive Grocer's Super 50 list of the nation's leading food retailers, operates more than 235 retail stores across eight Midwestern states.

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