The co-op’s West 7th store began piloting a composting program for in-store waste on November 1st. The goal of the program is to dramatically reducing the amount of waste produced within the store. While adding an in-store composting program increases our overall waste hauling costs, we know it is the right thing to do for the planet.
The co-op has posted signs labeled “Compost”, “Recycling” and “Trash” to direct customers and staff to the correct bin. Please look for these when disposing of anything at the store – proper sorting is very important to the success of the program. Items typically thought of as trash, such as the co-op’s “to go” flatware, coffee and juice cups and napkins are now tossed in the “Compost” bin and will be routed from the West 7th store to Waste Management’s composting facility in Rosemount. If the transition to this system goes smoothly, Mississippi Market hopes to expand the program to their Selby location in the future.
The idea to explore and implement a new compost program came out of a staff survey conducted by the Mississippi Market Green Team. The Green Team is a group of co-op staff members who are dedicated to diminishing Mississippi Market’s environmental impact, setting an example of environmental stewardship, and simultaneously increasing operational efficiency.
The survey, taken this September, aimed to find ways to improve on the co-op’s sustainability efforts. Of 167 staff members, 91 responded to this optional survey. The results showed that co-op employees would like to see more composting efforts by the co-op. Hearing the message loud and clear, The Green Team took action.
In addition to conducting staff surveys, the Mississippi Market Green Team also hosts the co-op staff’s annual Energy Challenge, wrote the staff Sustainability Policy, and works to make Mississippi Market events zero-waste.
While the composting program at Mississippi Market’s West 7th store is only designed for waste generated in the store, the co-op encourages St. Paul residents to compost at home, too. Mississippi Market will be offering classes on how to compost at home in Spring 2012. Check out class schedule at www.msmarket.coop/events to find dates and times.