BROOKSVILLE — Wal-Mart used to throw out its aging and damaged plants and garden supplies. Then Brooksville store manager Steve Smith came up with an idea.
Now, as part of its new relationship with Brooksville, Wal-Mart donates the materials to the city.
The goal: to enhance Brooksville by making it greener and more visually appealing. And it saves the city money.
"Wal-Mart really stepped in and helped out the city," Mayor Joe Bernardini said Tuesday. "We could not do this without them."
About 10 months ago, Wal-Mart began its weekly donations of ripped bags of soil, mulch and fertilizer, and plants that were toward the end of their lifespan, Smith said.
The city recovers and uses all of the materials, saving taxpayers more than $10,000.
The plants are used in places like Brooksville Cemetery, where Smith and Bernardini met Tuesday to celebrate the success of the program.
"Wal-Mart loves to partner with local communities and help everyone out," Smith said. "It's really a win-win situation."
The plant recovery partnership is part of a larger Going Green Recycling Initiative that the city began in 2008.
The city and Wal-Mart also are working to launch curbside recycling, scheduled to start in September.
Rich Howard, who works at Brooksville Cemetery, says the garden supply recycling project has been beneficial.
"Everything donated by Wal-Mart is used," Howard said. "Even the pots and dead plants are recycled."
Ryan Strong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1432.