The composting movement is inching forward in fits and starts, but the nation’s trash disposal system lacks the ability to process food waste on a large scale. Employees at 125 Safeway stores along the East Coast ship everything from flowers to coffee grinds and spoiled vegetables to Upper Marlboro’s Safeway Return Center, but the center must then transport the waste at least another 100 miles to be recycled into compost. Here’s a look at the composting efforts of one Safeway store in Southwest Washington.
Safeway produce clerk Steve Lloyd culls through potatoes, looking for expired or unsellable produce for compost, at the supermarket’s 1100 4th St. SW location. The store has been composting unsold items since 2010. Jared Soares/For The Washington Post Buy Photo