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SSC & Haggen Top One Million Pound Mark Recycling Food Scraps


 Bellingham, Wash - 01/14/2005. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rodd Pemble Recycling Manager Sanitary Service Co. (360) 734-3490 or

Becky Skaggs Haggen, Inc. (360) 650-8374 or

Bellingham, WA. – (November 18, 2004) Haggen, Inc. and Sanitary Service Company, Inc. (SSC) launched the area’s first large-scale commercial food scrap recycling program as a pilot project last January at the Haggen Food & Pharmacy store on Meridian. Just nine months after launching the program, Haggen, Inc. is pleased to announce it has diverted over one million pounds of compostable material from its four Whatcom County Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores for recycling.

“We are pleased with how easy and effective this program with SSC has been – both in terms of diverting material for recycling and saving on our overall waste disposal bill,” said Haggen, Inc. spokesperson Becky Skaggs.

Rodd Pemble, Recycling Manager for SSC, said initially, he anticipated Haggen could divert about a million pounds a year. “Remarkably, they have reached the million pound mark in just nine months, diverting approximately 40% of their waste stream for recycling,” Pemble said. Pemble said Haggen is saving about 20-25% in disposal costs for every ton diverted by participating in SSC’s program, including thousands of waxed cardboard boxes which cannot otherwise be recycled.

Current regulations only allow for pre-consumer generated food scraps to be recycled. This means only those compostable products that have not yet been sold to, or consumed by the public are allowed to be diverted for recycling. “We’re hoping that soon we will be able to take post-consumer food scraps as well,” said Pemble. Skaggs agreed.

“Diverting food scraps from our deli and food service areas would increase the amount of materials we could be recycling,” Skaggs said. Pemble said it would also allow the program to reach more potential customers, such as restaurants, and would open the door to offering food scrap recycling as part of the residential curbside recycling service.

In addition to the four local Haggen stores, Pemble said Fairhaven College and Bellingham Technical College are also participating in the program and several local school districts are moving toward pilot projects. SSC collects the food scraps and delivers the material 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.

About Haggen Haggen, Inc. operates 32 supermarkets and one stand-alone pharmacy in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Food & Pharmacy, TOP Food & Drug and Fairhaven Market names. Headquartered in Bellingham, Washington it is the largest independent grocer and eighth largest private company based in the State of Washington. Haggen, Inc. is listed in the Forbes Private 500.

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.


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