NATICK – At Wegmans Food Markets, living by the “Reduce, reuse, recycle” principles is a sustainability triple win -doing what’s right for the community, the environment, and the company.

In partnership with Rubicon Global, the leader in sustainable, cloud-based waste and recycling solutions, Wegmans is working toward eliminating all forms of waste at its stores, with food waste front and center.

Following the EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, Wegmans first aims to minimize food waste at the source by using less-than-perfect produce and slightly blemished food in its culinary operations.

Next, unsaleable perishable food items are picked up at Wegmans stores throughout the week by local food pantries and food banks that can get it into the hands of those who need it most.

In addition to the Zero Waste initiative, Wegmans is an active participant in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and has signed on as one of the first U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, making the commitment to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by the year 2030.

Through partnerships with Rubicon, local food banks and pantries, and local haulers, Wegmans tracks all the food coming out of its stores whether it’s waste, being donated, or diverted from landfills as feed for livestock, composting, or anaerobic digestion.

Last year, 70 Wegmans stores diverted more than 32.5 million pounds of food waste through its diversion programs.