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SSC and Haggen launch food scrap recycling project



Bellingham, Wash - 03/29/2004. Sanitary Service Company and Haggen have launched Whatcom County's first large-scale commercial food scrap recycling program. The pilot program began two months ago at the Haggen Food & Pharmacy store on Meridian. Since the inception of the program, the Meridan Haggen store has diverted over 30,000 pounds, or nearly 40%, of the Meridian Street store’s compostable waste stream for recycling. Besides diverting material to reuse, the program has helped Haggen save money on their overall disposal bill.

“The project has gone so well we are currently working with Haggen to expand the program to all their Whatcom County stores this spring,” said Rodd Pemble, Recycling Manager for SSC. “With four stores participating, Haggen could divert over a million pounds to composting each year and save money.”

Haggen Store Manager Dave Talbert said setting up the program has been easier than expected. “My staff have responded enthusiastically to the new program and are committed to making it work,” Talbert said. “Participating in a program like this makes us all feel we are helping the environment and making our community a better place for the future.”

SSC provides wheeled, 60-gallon recycling toters. The employees at the Meridian Street Haggen sort food scraps and other compostable wastes from the Produce, Bakery, Deli, and Floral Departments. Composted items include vegetable and fruit scraps, outdated baked goods and dough, and waxed cardboard cartons. Employees of the in-store Starbucks are also participating in the program by recycling used coffee filters and grounds. SSC collects the material and delivers the compostables to Green Earth Technologies (GET) in Lynden. GET processes the material into compost, which is sold for a variety of uses in and around Whatcom County.

Haggen is interested in eventually “closing the loop” by selling the finished compost in its Whatcom County stores. SSC Recycling Manager Rodd Pemble said that plans are to expand the program to include other commercial generators of compostable material. “We’re looking forward to offering our customers another way to conserve natural resources while reducing their bottom line costs. It’s a win-win all around.”

About Haggen
Haggen, Inc. operates 30 supermarkets and one stand-alone pharmacy in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Food & Pharmacy and TOP Food & Drug names. Headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, Haggen is the largest independent grocer and the seventh largest private company based in the State of Washington. Haggen, Inc. is listed in the Forbes Private 500. For more information, contact Becky Skaggs (360) 650-8374 or or visit

About Sanitary Service Company, Inc.
SSC, Inc. is Whatcom County’s largest recycling and waste collection company. Established in 1929, SSC is locally owned and operated and serves over 40,000 residential and commercial customers in Whatcom County. For more information, contact Rodd Pemble, Recycling Manager at (360) 734-3490 or or visit


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