Sendik's focusing on landfill reduction through compost program

GERMANTOWN -- Sendik's Food Markets says it launched a program to help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Employees at Sendik's Germantown store sort through hundreds of pounds of produce each day. It's a part of a compost program. "We take all of our non-consumable, plant, waste material, segregate it from our other trash, it's picked up by Waste Management, and it's turned into compost," said Sendik's Food Markets Co-Owner, Ted Balistreri.

Sixteen green bins are filled up twice a week. "The vegetable trimmer will trim up his vegetables and any product we can't use will go in the recycle bin," said Produce Manager, John Holloway. " Rather than taking that and putting it into a landfill, we're actually taking it and turning it into fertilizer, which is a much better use. It keeps our landfills a little bit cleaner, and is a way for us to provide fertilizer for growers," said Balistreri.

The floral department also helps. They compost stems and flowers that are no longer fresh. "I love composting. I've done it all of my life. Now, I feel like my job is really a reflection of my philosophy," said employee, Jeannie Ware. Sendik's Food Markets have been recycling cardboard and plastic for years, and this is just another addition. "It's a way of keeping our environment clean and giving back," said Balistreri. The Co-owner says they will expand the program to other stores this year.