Retail giant Walmart said it has diverted 80% of its waste from landfills at its California operations.

The California stores are acting as a bellwether for the company´s waste reduction plans, being implemented at all 4,400 U.S. Walmarts, Sam´s Clubs and distribution centers.

“We are proud of the progress we are making toward our zero waste goal, but realize we still have more work to do,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “We are committed to actively finding and developing solutions that are both good for the environment and good for business. Through this program we are able to provide the raw materials needed to make new products, recycle millions of pounds of commodities and reduce the environmental impact of landfills.”

The company has achieved its diversion goals by recycling cardboard, paper, aluminum, plastic bags, wood pallets, polystyrene apparel. The company also donates excess food to food banks and uses expired food and other organics to create animal feed, energy or compost.

Walmart began implementing and tracking waste reduction efforts in California in 2009. The nationwide program, based on the California model, will include an ongoing review to monitor the program´s success.

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