Boston -- The Massachussetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and a supermarket industry group have signed an agreement that encourages grocery stores to increase their composting efforts. The Massachusetts Food Association and the DEP will work to expand the Supermarket Organics Recycling Network (SORN) by encouraging grocery stores compost items such as spoiled fruits and vegetables, deli waste, floral waste and waxed cardboard. The DEP will provide technical assistance to starts that want to start composting programs and will establish a certification program.
Food and bulk-packaging waste accounts for up to 90 percent of materials that supermarkets have traditionally thrown away. The 57 stores that participated in SORN last year each saved an average of $45,000 in disposal costs.