The Houston-based solid waste company said the new eight-acre facility, adjacent to its landfill, is permitted to accept up to 30,000 tons per year, half from food waste and half from yard waste. The company said in a news release the move is part of its strategy to expand organics recycling in Florida and throughout North America.
The Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix will provide pre-consumer food waste, including produce, bakery and floral items. The facility also will take in yard waste and process all the material into organic compost products.
Waste Management will collect and transport the organic material from 40 Publix stores in Miami-Dade County and two Publix GreenWise Markets in Palm Beach County in the first phase of the program. Over the coming months, Publix plans to add additional stores in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to the program.
The Okeechobee facility utilizes a forced aeration system with computer controls to regulate airflow and air treatment.
Garick, a subsidiary of Waste Management and producer of organic lawn and garden goods, will make those products from the composting facility materials.
“As the nation’s largest environmental solutions provider, our customers are asking us to help them meet their sustainability goals,” said Tim Hawkins, area vice president for Waste Management. “We’re very pleased to partner with Publix on the first dedicated organics composting site in South Florida to serve their needs.”
"Our partnership with Waste Management presents an opportunity in fulfilling our mission to be intolerant of waste by diverting food waste that would typically be sent to local landfills,” said Kim Jaeger, Publix's Miami media and community relations manager.