Five Publix supermarkets in greater Charleston will now send their withered fruits, vegetables and flowers to the Bees Ferry Compost Facility.
The Florida-based grocery chain has partnered with Charleston County and the Food Waste Disposal company on a pilot program to transport produce and floral waste to the composting site.
The partnership will allow the grocer to reduce the amount of product that goes into landfills while helping the county produce a nutrient-rich soil amendment.
Food Waste Disposal will pick up the items from Publix stores on Johnnie Dodds and Ben Sawyer boulevards in Mount Pleasant, Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in Charleston, Folly Road on James Island, and Savannah Highway on Johns Island.
Once at the composting site, the food waste, an excellent source of nitrogen, will be mixed with yard debris, a good source of carbon. The two combined elements create a compost that will be used as a soil enhancement sold by the bag or by the loose-load.
“This partnership will be a win-win for Publix and Charleston County,” said Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Publix. “It will reduce the amount of product that goes into landfills and will create a natural resource that farmers and gardeners will use to grow food.”
“Charleston County Environmental Management is thrilled that a large food waste generator like Publix, the first supermarket to join the county’s commercial food waste composting program, is embracing food waste recycling in Charleston and hopes that more grocers will follow Publix’s lead.” said Carolyn Carusos, Charleston County Environmental Management’s Recycling Program Manager.
Composting closes the loop of the food cycle, said Wayne Koeckeritz, owner of Food Waste Disposal.