Retail and food-service operations as well as some municipalities across the country are making the move toward reducing their wastes and demonstrating their commitment to environmental responsibility through zero waste initiatives. These programs divert waste from landfills through recycling efforts, charitable donations and more.

Last year, national grocery chain Food Lion launched a zero waste program in 50 of its stores, with a focus on recycling as many materials as possible and making food donations to local agencies. In fact, through its Food Lion Feeds initiative, which is aimed at helping eliminate hunger in local communities, the company donated nearly 62 million meals to individuals and families in 2014 alone.

“Food Lion was able to accelerate waste reduction in its stores, which resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of dumpsters transporting waste to landfills and a dramatic increase in the amount of fresh food donations to local charities,” observes Michael Mintz, CEO of Waste Cost Solutions. “By working toward its goal of producing as little waste as possible, Food Lion is not only demonstrating its environmental conscience but also raising its profile in local communities and across the country.”

Parent company Delhaize Group recently released its 2014 sustainability report, citing Food Lion’s forward progress in waste reduction, production of sustainable private label products, implementation of an industry-leading sustainable seafood policy and more. In its first year, the zero waste program was so successful that the company plans to expand it into 200 stores by the end of 2015.

“As one of the nation’s largest grocers, Food Lion has set an example and raised the sustainability bar for other companies in the U.S.,” says Mintz. “This is a great time to jump on the bandwagon of what is certainly a growing and permanent trend. Waste reduction is ethical and cost-efficient, making it good for the community and environment, and for your business, too.”

Would you like to learn exactly what steps your company can take to reduce and recycle waste and become more sustainable? Waste Cost Solutions will work with you to design a customized sustainability plan or improve your existing program: call 1.800.509.5399 or email