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Friday, February 23 2018 @ 03:42 AM AKST

Vegetables were once alive. Let’s not waste them!

Pets and Animalsby Sammy Taylor

When I first moved to the Valley and got Chickens, I was happy to see that there were businesses that practiced responsible use of vegetable “waste.” At the former Steve’s Food Boy in Big Lake, the produce persons were happy to give Chicken-keepers sacks of vegetable discards if we didn’t mind picking out the occasional piece of plastic. I was more than happy to get those because it was close to home and the Chickens really needed the greens in the winter. Later I discovered that Carr’s in Wasilla did the same thing. Of course, more people were competing for those scraps. It was great to hear that lots of folks got produce discards for their Chickens, Guinea Pigs or Rabbits. What a treat it was for our pets or farm animals to have real food rather than processed pellets!

So this is my thank you to those managers who allowed use of their “waste” rather than just mixing vegetables with “trash” headed for the landfill. I have tried to support these businesses by doing the majority of my shopping in places like those two. Everyone should!

Today, things have changed. The Big Lake store has changed owners and Three Bears doesn’t allow any salvage. Now only Carr’s has a policy which allows animal keepers to salvage their vegetable waste. When I approached Fred Meyer’s produce persons, they said they would be fired if they allowed their “waste” to be used. At Walmart I could pay the same price for the vegetable scraps as for the produce on the shelf. No other store that I’m aware of allows for such responsible use as a matter of store policy.

Mid Valley Recycling has also learned that citizens have utilized some other opportunities for gathering vegetable discards for kept animals or compost. Individual school teachers may allow citizens to collect scraps from school lunch discards. Since this is not (yet) an institutionalized practice, this requires that citizens speak with teachers individually and provide and maintain clean receptacles in the classroom.

As Americans, we have a reputation for too much waste. Here are some ways to reduce that waste and support businesses that do their part. Please share info about other responsible businesses by leaving a post on our website

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Vegetables were once alive. Let’s not waste them!
Authored by: DG on Tuesday, April 21 2015 @ 06:54 AM AKDT
As a fellow keeper of chickens and rabbits, I share your views. I used to get a big bag of produce scraps every winter Wednesday from the Food Boy, and the animals went crazy over them.

It's a shameful situation that laws or whatever other barrier blocks this use of materials that are just going to waste and adding to the landfill burden. Maybe if enough of us got together and signed a petition or friendly letter to the stores we'd get this back in our community.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the folks at Mid Valley Recycling for their hard work.