• http://strawberryhedgehog.com Tracy

    Thanks for the info!

    I know when I worked at a shop years ago we were forced to pour out the tester and sample bottles of product into the trash before trashing them. I was told it was a tax thing so that the store would not be accused of using the testers, etc and some how have to pay differently? Never made any sense to me.

    • http://glueandglitter.com/ Becky Striepe

      Yeah, that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, either. How would they prove that they did or didn’t pour out the bottles? Very strange.

  • http://happyfood-funnyfarm.blogspot.com/ leekfixer

    Hi Becky,
    You are right on the money! It is absurd that these companies are being so wasteful. If we don’t change consumeristic disposable wasteful ways as a society soon many people are going to suffer some serious consequences. Including the Corporations who are the worst offenders. Thanks for bringing this to light.

    • http://glueandglitter.com/ Becky Striepe

      Thanks, Duane! I totally agree…those practices are incredibly short-sighted because you’re so right – these companies will pay the price along with the rest of us.

  • http://cleanhippie.wordpress.com Alden

    Whenever I hear about this H&M and Wal-Mart story, I think about the homeless guy I saw on the subway a few weeks ago. It was freezing outside, and his shoes, jeans, and sweatshirt were more holes than fabric! How can Wal-Mart and H&M justify destroying clothing when there are people out there who could die from over exposure?

    You’re right, we do live in a disposable society.

    • http://greenupgrader.com Matt Embrey

      Great point. They can’t justify it. I think they prefer to ignore it. Hopefully, they won’t be able to for long.

  • http://liveoakmedia.net Matt Embrey

    That TampaBay article is way off base stating “If you get hurt while scavenging, the store could be in a lot more trouble than you.” They are completely missing the point of the 1992 lawsuit. The company was illegally disposing of hazardous chemicals. That is where the negligence lies.

    In order to file a lawsuit for civil liability there has to be some type of injury or damages and the plaintiff has to prove that it was from some act of negligence or malice. There are other types of torts but they don’t really apply to these types of scenarios. If someone that is allergic to peanuts jumps in a dumpster and eats a peanut based product and goes into anaphylactic shock, the family is going to be hard pressed to prove any negligence on the stores side. Unless the store is violating the law or doing something that they know or should know will likely cause an unreasonable level or danger to the public, they are not going to be sued (or lose the lawsuit).

    To be honest, pouring bleach on their food is likely to open them up to more liability because it serves no legit purpose and…

    1. 1. they know people and animals eat out of their dumpsters
    2. 2. most cities have regulations on how businesses have to dispose of chemicals like bleach.

    Sorry for digressing on that rant but it bugs me when the media (not you Becky but TampaBay.com) butchers the facts about a lawsuit to make it sound buzzworthy. With the exception of an outlying court that doesn’t follow the law, a burgaler that hurts himself when he’s climbing through your window is not going to win a law suit against you, despite what urban legends and the media will have you believe.

    Back to the point. If a store says they pour bleach on the food to save them from liability they are either lying or idiots. The real reason is most likely that want to deter dumpster diving and animals because they pose an inconvenience and other potential hazards.

    They should just bring the food down to a local soup kitchen or something but that takes time and isn’t easy so they aren’t likely to do it. It’s a great idea to ask stores so you can use the power of the purse when you shop but they may not be honest with you. When I was in high school I worked in a grocery store and we had huge bins for customers to recycle their plastic bags, and when those bins got full, they went straight to the dumpster.

    On the topic of those stores destroying clothes, that is absolutely deplorable. There’s no excuse for it, it’s both environmentally and socially irresponsible.

    There are two ways I see these problem being effectively changed…

    1. 1. Consumers “voting at the checkout” showing stores that if they want their business they are going to have to clean up their act.
    2. 2. a combo of Govt. regulation that makes disposing of trash more expensive and having some established alternative channels for the stores to dispose of these old goods that doesn’t harm their business model.

    By the way, great post!

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  • mike

    the issue of liability doesn’t make sense because if it were true then they “the store” would be liable whether or not the items were intact. How does destroying items by ripping them up or bleaching them remove liability.

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky

      Yeah, I agree. I guess the argument goes that destroying the goods deters divers, thus decreasing the chance of something happening? But you’re right – folks won’t know the goods have been destroyed unless they go in there looking.

  • Michelle

    My nonprofit runs three food shelves, and we have lots of grocery stores donate food that is near or maybe at its sell-by date. Trader Joe’s, Cub Foods, Rainbow Foods all donate hundreds of pounds of food. So there are some good stores out there. Maybe it will take someone willing to volunteer to deliver the food.

    • http://glueandglitter.com/ Becky Striepe

      That’s fantastic to hear! Maybe you’re right…it could just be a matter of someone volunteering. That’s a great idea!

  • http://www.jermaineholmes.com Jermaine Holmes

    You are correct. I work for a supermarket chain and it’s unbelievable how wasteful they are. One time, a manager wanted me to throw away a box of candy simply because it was deleted from the system (not authorized to be sold). Instead, I gave it away to other employees and kept the rest (donated some of it too). HELL NO I WASN’T GONNA THROW AWAY GOOD CANDY!!! I think food banks should put food bins into stores year-round instead of just around holiday time; might encourage stores to do less wasting.

  • http://mygreenside.org Wendy

    Thanks for the fabulous article, Becky! This practice of waste is appalling! And Walmart expects us to “buy” that they are committed to employing more sustainable practices… hmmm… Another reason to avoid big box stores and buy local. Vote with your dollars!

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  • http://www.eatyourheartout.biz Chloe Fennell

    Hi! That’s my dumpster!

    I run a catering business in Portland, Oregon called Eat Your Heart Out Catering. Just for the record, nothing put in the dumpster pictured above is soaked in bleach. In fact, we donate our excess food to a shelter a few blocks away.

    Interesting subject, I have heard of food establishments throwing away food that has sat out too long but not this bleach nonsense. Sounds like an awful practice.

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky

      Thank you so much for commenting, Chloe! It’s great to hear from a small business owner who’s getting it right. And great dumpster photo. :)

  • Karen

    This is horrible. Last year, while sampling a delicious dessert at a Costco food demo toward the end of the demo hours … I joked with the demonstrator about the leftover goodies as she packed away her cart asking her what do they do with them. She told me that all leftover demo food must be thrown out. I asked her “What if you were demo’ing an 8 can bundle of tuna – what happens to any unopened cans of tuna left at the end of demo time? Are you allowed to donate them or take them home?” She said absolutely not ~ the strict policy is that all leftover food/drink MUST be thrown away … PERIOD … no exceptions! amazing.

    Over the holidays, I let my Costco membership expire while I tried out BJs wholesale club via their free 60-day trial membership. My BJs trial membership is expires today & I want to return to Costco. Costco remains my favorite (followed by Sam’s & BJs is 3rd) – I’ve been a faithful member since they opened in my suburb 4-5 yrs ago due to their great customer svc, healthy items, great prices, etc. But, what good is all that if they’re tossing unopened containers of food out of the back door? It makes no sense … hypocrisy, cruelty, wastefulness despite the recession, world poverty, disasters & the ailing environment.

    I plan to have a pleasant talk with a Costco VIP to determine if that policy is in effect b4 deciding whether to renew my membership. Meanwhile, I wonder how Sam’s handles their excess items.

  • http://none judah snyder

    i agree with you about bigbox waste i do not do any business at all w/any of these dumps toys r us ,bestbuy,target,walmart . ive had alot of bad experieces with these places. they also waste store signages as well ive been collecting these signages for many yrs. I DO NOT SELL THEM ON EBAY! the ones that i collect are pokemon i decorate my apt. w/them these people [term used loosely] do not care about what the customer wants .they just destroy this artwork .thank you for listening.

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    I can do about it.

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  • http://monawee.com/ monavie

    To be honest, pouring bleach on their food is likely to open them up to more liability because it serves no legit purpose and

  • MavenOTF .

    My mother used to work at a health food store, and they were required to put the food in the dumpster. However, the owner would put the food in boxes for whoever would pass by. The dumpster provided many hungry families with meals