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Two local companies have partnered to process food waste from thousands of grocery stores into compost and other beneficial materials.

Walmart and Russellville-based Denali earlier this month announced a renewed agreement to collect food past its edible lifespan from more than 4,600 Walmart locations across the U.S. The organic material is then composted, converted into animal feed and processed in anaerobic digesters for energy generation, according to Denali’s news release.

“Walmart is a leader and innovator in making retail more sustainable. Denali is proud to provide services that bring Walmart closer to its goal of zero waste in its U.S. operations by 2025,” Denali CEO Todd Mathes said.

The agreement represents just one portion of Denali’s organics recycling operation, which also collects waste from thousands of other grocery stores and industries. Denali says it’s the nation’s leading organics recycler and diverts billions of pounds of waste a year from landfills.

It’s also not the first time the two corporations have cooperated, though it’s the first time the relationship has been publicized. Walmart has set goals to keep all of its U.S. waste out of landfills and cut food waste in half by 2030.

The two are linked in another way as well. Walmart provided the original grant to start NWA Recycles in 2021, and Denali is among the local stakeholders that work with us in seeking ways to improve the region’s recycling programs. Together they illustrate the substantial interest and capability for recycling in this corner of Arkansas.