Nation's first zero waste business certification program launched

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CORONA DEL MAR, CALIF. -- The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council is launching the first third-party zero waste certification program for U.S. businesses, the organization announced.

Founded in the fall of 2011, the Corona Del Mar, Calif.-based non-profit has set a goal of diverting all end-use material from the landfill and incineration through reducing, reusing, recycling and composting. The organization calls for a minimum of 90 percent diversion.

USZWBC recently issued zero waste certifications to three Whole Foods Market stores in San Diego County, Calif., and also provides zero waste educational tools for communities, businesses and other groups, according to its Facebook page.

"We are thrilled to launch the new certification program and to verify the achievements of Whole Foods Market. Our goal is not only to provide credibility to zero waste businesses, but also to offer the resources needed to create value and save money through zero waste practices," Stephanie Barger, founder and executive director of USZWBC, said in a statement. "The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council offers businesses access to recycling markets, peer-to-peer networking, zero waste training and conferences."