Dorothy Lane Market belongs to the Ohio Grocers Foundation Environmental/Sustainability Task Force. It is the one place we can sit down with our competitors and have a common goal of helping make our environment better. To compost you need two things: a compost facility within a short drive and critical mass (enough businesses who are willing to compost so it is worth a hauler’s time to pick it up). Over the last several years Ohio went from two compost facilities up north to 19 all over the state.
During those three years, we waited and learned by going to task force meetings. When opportunity knocked, we were able to flip approximately 80% of our waste from going to a landfill to now 80% recycling in some form at our Springboro store. We have always recycled our cardboard, and a couple of years ago started recycling our plastic wrap. Now, using Springboro as our test store, we recycle paper, plastic bottles, pop cans, and any plastic container that has the numbers 1–7 posted on it. We then compost the rest, and average over 15 tons of compost a month. This used to go to landfills.
If you go back into one of our departments today there will be four bins; one for recyclables, compost, plastic wrap, and trash. A lot of habits had to change, but everyone was happy to do it because of the end result. Now that Springboro is done we hope to move on to Washington Square and Oakwood in the future.