The national average for corporate-based waste diversion is 45 percent and Walmart Stores operating in California have nearly doubled this number. Walmart updated its progress towards waste reduction goals in the state with an announcement that 80 percent of waste generated in the state is recycled, reused or otherwise diverted from area landfills.
Due to the overwhelming success of the waste diversion measures in the state, Walmart will be rolling out this program to its approximate 4,400 stores, warehouse clubs and distribution centers across the nation.
The waste diversion program has three main facets – recycling, donating and creating. Cardboard, paper, plastics and other items are recycled. Food is donated to food banks and hunger relief organizations and other organic waste products are used to make animal feed, compost and even energy creation.
In 2010, Walmart’s organic waste program supplied rescue parks with 7,000 tons of meat for animal feed, converted used cooking oil into enough biofuel to operate 480 semi-trucks for one year and created close to 1,500 megawatts of energy.
“We are proud of the progress we are making toward our zero waste goal, but realize we still have more work to do,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “We are committed to actively finding and developing solutions that are both good for the environment and good for business.” Source: Walmart
If Walmart is able to replicate their efforts on a national level, an 80 percent reduction in waste would be the equivalent of preventing 11.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.