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BRADENTON, FL — The old saying one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is proving true in Manatee County. Publix Supermarkets just partnered up with Goodwill Manasota to help those in need. Every week, Goodwill brings in donations from 40 Publix stores in Manatee and Sarasota counties. But the grocery chain isn’t donating food. Instead, it’s giving Goodwill items like shopping carts, lockers, metal shelving and more.
Goodwill Manasota CEO Bob Rosinsky called this an example of a creative partnership within the community. “Publix is known for its efforts to give back to the community through numerous programs and sponsorships, and we are able to help them recycle items and divert additional items from local landfills,” he said. “This partnership has been an ideal fit for both of our companies. We are always looking for unique and innovative ways to expand our reach, and continue to fund our mission of changing lives through the power of work.”

Donn Githens, director of retail operations for Goodwill Manasota, agrees. “We are always looking for ways to partner in our community, reduce the amount of stuff that goes to the landfill and find other ways to either recycle it, or potentially sell it in our stores,” he said. Githens said while some of the items, like seasonal paper plates, can be sold in their stores, most cannot. Instead, Goodwill is able to recycle them and sell the scraps for a profit.

The partnership has already resulted in the pick-up of approximately 19,000 pounds of materials. In 2014, Goodwill entered a partnership with ReQuip Stores, Inc., a recycler that helps manage unique donations like manufacturing and production equipment, construction equipment and vehicles, discontinued products, and items with outdated packaging. Through items sold, Goodwill Manasota receives a portion of the revenue. Goodwill also partners with Junk King, Pioneer Recycling, Suncoast Metal and Symphony Salvage in order to ensure that organizational revenues are maximized and that items sent to landfills are reduced as severely as possible.

“Being intolerant of waste is important for our environment. It’s so important to Publix that it’s part of our mission statement,” said Brian West, media and community relations manager for Publix Super Markets, Inc. “Our partnership with Goodwill Manasota allows us to expand our recycling efforts to items that might otherwise be discarded. We’re very thankful and appreciative they were able to meet our standards and expectations.”

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