Green doughnuts good for shop owner, environment

By Sharon Holliday
Enterprise Correspondent
The Brockton Enterprise
March 10, 2008

RAYNHAM — If Michael Russo tells people that he runs green doughnut shops in Raynham and Rockland, he’s not talking about the color of the paint on the buildings.

He’s talking about his campaign to recycle as much of the stores’ waste as possible at his Honey Dew Donuts franchises in Raynham and Rockland.

And he’s saving money, too.

“I’m now saving about $160 a month at the two stores and it’s also helping the environment,” he said.

In handling store waste, Russo separates food from non-food items and then places the items — such as coffee grounds, paper

cups and plastic utensils – into small, labeled containers located out of view and under the counter at employee work stations.

The containers are emptied by employees into separate, covered bins located outside the stores — instead of being emptied into one large trash bin.

The smaller bins are emptied twice a month, instead of once a week, with the contents of the food-waste bins transported by a company called Planet Police to WeCare Environmental LLC in Marlboro. There, the food waste is turned into soil enhancers to be distributed to horticultural and agricultural markets.

Russo had no problem getting his workers on board with the recycling program, he said.

“They said that they had been doing this for years at home,” he said. “They also said they had learned about it at school.”

Russo recently opened the Honey Dew shop at the corner of Route 138 and West Elm Street in Raynham.

He said his regular trash hauler – EOMS Recycling of West Bridgewater, which had already been servicing his store in Rockland – had recommended the program for the two stores as a way of reducing the number of pickups each month and as a way to help him save money on trash fees.

Louis Tarentino, owner of both EOMS Recycling and Planet Police, said he started the food-recycling operation about a year ago as a division of EOMS, a trucking company that he began 13 years ago in order to recycle materials such as yard waste, computer monitors, granite and aluminum products.

“But I had seen a need for something like this,” Tarentino said, “and now I have about a couple of dozen customers.” Tarentino said he’s now in the process of contacting retail stores, like Honey Dew, that are smaller generators of food waste than the larger supermarkets.

“Large supermarkets have been doing something like this for years, because of the volume of food waste they generate,” he said.

Tarentino said “everyone that I’ve set up with the program so far, has stayed with it. No one has canceled.” And he also noted that delivering food waste to an environmental company instead of to a landfill or incinerator, saves him about $40 a ton in tipping fees.

“If food waste is mixed with other items and then goes to an incinerator, the tipping fee is about $90 a ton. But if it’s only food waste, then the rate is about $50 a ton,” he said.

It’s a savings he said he can pass on to customers.

© Planet Police, 2010