Food Waste FAQ

Why do you throw food out?

We follow Health Canada policies and guidelines as well as our own strict processes on food safety to ensure that only food that is deemed safe to eat is sold or donated. Some items we discard have passed their best before date so they must be sent for organic recycling. But it’s important to remember that just because a food item has not passed its best before date it is not necessarily safe for consumption.

Food is also sent for organic recycling if:

· An item has been returned by a customer. For example, if a customer returns a package of meat as part of our satisfaction guarantee, that product will not be sold to another customer;
· It is subject to a Health Canada recall;
· Cold items are left unrefrigerated. For example, if a container of milk is found on a non-refrigerated shelf within our stores, we must discard the milk because it has left the cold chain and may not be safe for consumption, even though the best before date has not passed;
· It doesn’t pass the test: would I buy it?

How much waste do you send to landfill?

We recycle 80% of all our waste. While we have many processes currently in place to streamline our food waste reduction, we are continuing to discover new and more effective ways to reach our zero waste goal.

Why do you sometimes lock the bins with food in them? Are you trying to hide something?

Absolutely not. Food which is placed in our organic recycling bins is scheduled for pickup by our third party recycling vendor. Because the food in these bins has been deemed unsafe, we don’t want anyone to eat an item which may appear edible and get sick as a result.

Why don’t your stores separate food and packaging?

240 of our stores recycle all organic waste. Depending on the arrangement we have with our recycling partner, many of our stores, but not all stores, separate food and packaging. As we make this process more efficient we will be able to implement it at more stores.