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Hy-Vee stores recycle 77,000 pounds of inedible food waste

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Two Hy-Vee grocery stores in Mason City and Charles City partnered with GreenRU recently to launch organic recycling programs.

Between June 1 and September 30, the stores reached a milestone – they recycled 65,000 pounds of inedible food waste and eliminated nearly 12,500 gallons of methane from the environment.

Two additional Hy-Vee stores – in Austin and Albert Lea, Minnesota – followed suit, partnering with GreenRU to recycle a combined 17,000 pounds of inedible food waste.

“We are excited to partner with GreenRU. Our employees already recognize the value of taking personal responsibility to help reduce waste on our Mason City and Charles City campuses,” said Brad Walters, store director at Mason City Hy-Vee East. “The program is easy to implement, and it helps our store have a part in recycling waste that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.”

Hy-Vee stores traditionally donate excess non-perishable food to community organizations such as food banks for families in need.

GreenRU’s food collection bins provide additional recycling outlets for Hy-Vee food waste by using it as soil-enhancing compost for Iowa crops.

In 2014, GreenRU was awarded the Recycling Innovation Award by the Iowa Recycling Association. GreenRU said in a news release that it looks forward to developing its partnership with Hy-Vee across the United States -- educating its customers and employees on the long-term benefits of developing compostable waste streams.

GreenRU is a food organics recycling company headquartered in Blairsburg. It partners with grocery chains, restaurants, schools, businesses and community organizations to create sustainability programs for beneficial reuse of food waste.

Food waste is collected via specialized containers, then hauled by GreenRU trucks to state-permitted composting facilities in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. Waste is processed into nutrient-rich, soil amending compost for Iowa farmers and communities.

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