New Costco In-Store Recycling and Waste Program

Recycling Bins

I was at Costco last week when I saw something very surprising. One of the Costco workers was pouring the recycling and compost bins into the garbage bin. I thought I was capturing the next breaking news scandal. Instead, it led me to learn about a fascinating new product being introduced by Costco. It turns out the workers are instructed to pour the bins into one, because the trash has to be sorted by hand in the back. If you’re wondering why by hand, it’s because Costco can’t rely on everyone to put just compost in compost and just recycling in recycling. If there is one extra straw in the compost it will cause havoc for Costco’s new item — dirt.

Recycling Outside

New Recycling Program (Source: Nevada Appeal)

That’s right, Costco is making and selling dirt/compost. This program is not at all Costcos yet (Norcal and Nevada), but if you see the trash/compost/recycling bins in your food court then it is probably participating. The idea is that Costco will be making compost in the back of the store/lot, and will eventually start selling it. It’s a win for Costco because they can severely reduce their waste (Livermore went from 65 tons to 9.5 tons), they “look” greener and they can potentially make some money off the compost and recycling. Not all the stores plan to sell the dirt, but it should be an interesting product when it is ready. Have you heard about this yet?

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  • Darlene Mayes

    Will Costco be carrying the composting/recycling bins? If so, anticipated arrival date? Also, do the bins come with a cover?

  • Insider

    I do not think Costco will be carrying the bins in the pictures, but some Costcos are carrying rotating compost bins if that is what you’re looking for.

    • Bob Remen

      If Costco will not be selling the recycleables collection bins, can you let me know the name and source(s)of the sorters that Costco is using?

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  • Teena Tanya

    An employee told me that Costco sends the contents of all three colored bins to the trash. No composting, no recycling and lots of waste.

  • Sharon

    I am extremely disgusted by the wastefulness of Costco here in Canada. They do no recycle anything! Most stores have cardboard bins, metal bins etc. at least to recycle a portion of their refuse. Costco does none of this!!! I even witnessed them throw hazardous materials (a huge pallet of automotive oil) into the bin as it got dirty when nicked by the forklift and was considered unsaleable. I have tried to set up links with charitable programs and food banks – only to be told to basically “get lost”. I don’t know if consumers realize that the liberal return policy results in tons and tons of Railway car sized loads headed straight for landfill. Yes, when you return that new or near new mattress that you changed your mind about – it is marked destroy and headed straight to the dump! Last week when they closed the garden centre for the summer at the local store I asked if there were going to be any mark downs as they still had quite a few trees and annuals etc. left. I was told to check back in a week. Well you can imagine what happened. The next day thousands of dollars of pricey plants were dumped in the garbage in their containers and everything. I should have taken a picture. It was unbelievable!! When I complained to the store manager. He said “I am sorry you witnessed this”. (No mention of – we will change the policy or work towards improving.) Costco is not cheaper than our local grocery stores and I will not subsidize these practices anymore! Shame on you Costco!!! You are a GUEST in our country and you take out hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars a year. That does not give you the right to fill our landfill recklessly. Show some responsibility instead of promoting Gluttony! When my 10 yr. membership expires this year and it will not be renewed.

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