From the Green Grocer to Compost

Can you imagine the amount of fruit and vegetable garbage that must be produced by one grocery store? Even with climate and moisture control in the areas that need it, there is a significant amount of your grocer’s product department that is written off as garbage before they even receive it. That doesn’t count the shipments of fruits or vegetables that end up with recalls on them or those that are spoiled or damaged upon arrival. All in all, there is a lot of waste in your produce department.

From the perspective as eco-conscious composters, this wasted seems appalling, but one company is making a dent in the spoiled fruit and veggie totals in Tempe, Arizona and its surrounding regions.

A recent post by Desertnews.com notes the success of EcoScraps, a startup that is taking on grocery waste single-handedly.

“EcoScraps has inked deals with grocers and wholesalers to haul it away and use it as a key ingredient in organic compost and potting soil that it sells at independent nurseries. The company plans to add 88 Bashas’ stores and is looking for others in addition to its existing wholesaler supply, said Brandon Sargent, EcoScrap’s co-founder and vice president. It hasn’t been too difficult to get grocers to sign on, Sargent said, because trash companies charge stores by the weight of what’s hauled away.

“In almost every situation, we save them money by picking up their waste,” Sargent said. “If they don’t understand the eco-friendly aspect, at least they understand the bottom line.”

Having opened their doors in February of this year, this new venture has already set its sights on surrounding areas of New Mexico, Southern California and Texas for franchise options as well as Oregon and Colorado for direct expansions. 2011 Sales are projected at $400,000.

EcoScraps provides a direct answer to the budgeting problems faced by communities and corporations looking into composting options. Their service is affordable and could help reduce the residue of the more than 30 million tons of food thrown away each year.

While EcoScraps is still expanding in the western part of the country, there is no reason that similar ventures across the nation could be sought to fight for a greener earth.

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