Newport Ave. Market, an IGA grocery store in Bend, Ore., has rolled out a composting program in partnership with Cascade Disposal that in its first week of collected more than 2,100 pounds of food waste from the market for conversion into reusable gardening compost.
“Newport Ave. Market is the first business in Bend to adapt our new composting program into its facility and recycling program,” noted Tom Leland, manager of Bend-based Cascade Disposal, adding that Newport Ave. Market and its employees were “developing the efficient commercial model that we will launch throughout the region.”
The store donates lightly bruised produce and unsalable but edible products to shelters in the community through its Gleaner Program, with biodegradable items that aren’t edible earmarked for the composting program. Cascade Disposal has provided secure containers to dispose of each department’s food waste, including meat, vegetables, seafood, bakery items, eggshells and coffee grounds. Once a week, the food waste is picked up and delivered to Deschutes Recycling, where it’s composted and screened to remove oversized material. The resulting nutrient-rich compost will bear the U.S. Composting Seal of Testing Approval when it is made available for purchase by the public.
“We are saving approximately $100 per month, but more importantly, we have the satisfaction of knowing we are helping reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill,” said Newport Ave. Market owner Rudy Dory. “It is helping to create jobs and doing the right thing for the neighborhood, community, and environment.”
Adds Cascade Disposal’s Leland, “We are creating a reusable disposal stream for our customers that does not get buried in the landfill.”