Zero Waste

Walmart Stores Are Reducing Waste

Mike Moore, executive vice president of Walmart Central geographic business unit, explains how Walmart stores in the U.S. are reducing, reusing and recycling to help eliminate waste in our communities.

Walmart's Zero Waste Program

Walmart has reduced waste in our U.S. operations by more than 80%, returning more than $231 million to the business last year. The reduction, which brings Walmart closer to our goal to create zero waste, has the potential to prevent 11.8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. Read more

Reducing waste from our stores around the world

Our waste reporting system focuses on three core areas:

  1. Recycling cardboard, paper, aluminum, plastic bags and roughly 30 other items through the Super Sandwich Bale (SSB) program. Items not eligible for the SSB, including wood pallets, polystyrene plastic and apparel, are sent to our return centers for reuse or recycling.
  2. Donating healthy, nutritious food to food banks around the country. In 2011, we donated 338 million pounds of food to hunger relief organizations – the equivalent of 264 million meals.
  3. Creating animal feed, energy or compost from expired food and other organic products, following the U.S. EPA’s food waste hierarchy.

As we work toward becoming a zero waste company, we’re consolidating waste reduction efforts on a global scale.  Here are a few examples of recent international success stories:

  • Mexico – We worked with suppliers to turn 1.2 million pounds of cooking oil recovered from our stores into biodiesel, soap and a supplement for cattle feed in 2011.
  • China – We collaborated with Beijing Goldenway Bio-Tech to compost 360 tons of organic waste from 10 stores in Beijing in 2011. In combination with other initiatives, Walmart China diverted 52% of operational waste from landfills last year.
  • Brazil – We diverted 52% of waste from landfills across our operations in Brazil, while 10 stores achieved a rate of 90% or more in 2011.
  • United Kingdom – ASDA sends no food waste to landfills. Quality food is provided to charities, while the remainder is sent back to ASDA Service Centers to be recycled.