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Fill Up, Fuel Up and Empty the Trash

May 26, 2017

Convenience retailers spend about $600 per store per month for recycling and trash collection programs, or about $1.2 billion industry-wide on an annual basis.   

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Seven in 10 American drivers (70%) say they dispose of trash from their cars while refueling, according to the results of a national consumer study by NACS on attitudes related to trash. And convenience and fuel retailers concur: 56% say that most trash in their trash cans at the fueling island is not generated from the store.

In early April, NACS conducted consumer and retailer surveys to gauge consumer and retailer perceptions about litter and trash leading up to Earth Day on April 22. Retailers say they spend more than $600 per store per month for recycling and trash collection programs, or about $1.3 billion industry-wide on an annual basis. The payoff is worth the expense, as convenience stores continue to grow their foodservice sales, which climbed 12.9% to $49 billion in 2016. The convenience store industry is also working with Keep America Beautiful to provide guidance to its members on best practices for recycling and trash management.

Consumers overwhelmingly say that store appearance is important when considering where to make a purchase: 84% of consumers fueling up say cleanliness of the store is an important factor when considering whether they go inside the store to make a purchase. Litter is also among the most highly cited reasons why people don’t want a convenience store in their community. (Read more on this topic in the February NACS Magazine cover story, “Don’t Be Trashy.”)

And more than 9 in 10 (92%) say that the convenience store they visit the most often tends to be clean, compared to the 85% who say that convenience stores in general tend to be clean.

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