After a successful one-store pilot program launched in 2016, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Market plans to roll out its Zero Waste program to more stores.

The second phase includes five additional stores, according to a news release, with more slated for the future.

“Food waste is how we can make the most significant change, not only for what’s ending up in landfills, but for our communities as well,” said Jason Wadsworth, manager of sustainability, in a news release.

Wegmans’ efforts include:

  • Using less-than-perfect produce and slightly blemished items in culinary operations;
  • Donating unsaleable perishable items to food pantries;
  • Diverting scraps by offering them as feed to local livestock;
  • Remaining scraps are sent to anaerobic digestion for composting and energy.

The company also is a participant in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Challenge and has signed on as one of the first “U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions,” for committing to reducing food loss and waste by 50% by the year 2030.

Zero Waste stores include Canandaigua, Pittsford, Ithaca and Alberta Drive, N.Y.; Westwood, Mass.; and Allentown, Pa.

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