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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