The retailer has increased its recycling rate to over 50% and is now aiming to eliminate the need for general waste collections by sending zero waste to landfill by 2013.

The company is working with Biffa to revamp its waste management operations. This involved the roll out of a three-bin service across 460 sites at the end of 2010 to cover general waste, dry mixed recycling and food waste.

A complete culture change was also introduced throughout the business – waste reduction was integrated into staff work objectives and voluntary environment champions were appointed to encourage more recycling.

Commenting on the project, Midcounties Co-operative’s head of supermarket operations Simon Prior said: “We are a responsible retailer and organisation committed to delivering our social responsibility goals.

“As such, we are continually striving to improve our recycling streams and will continue to work in partnership with Biffa to achieve our targets.”

The Midcounties Co-operative is the second biggest independent co-operative in the UK working in a number of businesses including food stores, travel, pharmacy, funeral care, childcare, energy, employee benefits, and post offices.

It produces around 6,000 tonnes of waste each year. In 2010, just 21% of this waste was sent for recycling.

Maxine Perella

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