Seattle resident Nathan Gregg was at a waste facility, about 15 minutes south of the city’s downtown area, dumping construction materials at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday when he discovered a nearly 6-foot-high pile of prepared meals still in their Amazon Go packaging. Amazon Go is the e-commerce giant’s cashierless convenience store concept.
Photos provided by Gregg showed various wraps, salads, and sandwiches encased in their original sealed plastic containers alongside packaged hot dogs, mushrooms, loose bell peppers, and other grocery items. The discarded food was found at South Transfer Station. There are four Amazon Go stores located in Seattle, and eight other locations across San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.
After Gregg reported the incident, Seattle Public Utilities told him that the Amazon Go waste is being investigated, and the items would be removed from the landfill.
The incident captures the prolific amount of plastic-wrapped food waste the self-checkout stores create.
In an email to BuzzFeed News, an Amazon spokesperson said the company’s policy is to compost food that can’t be donated and to recycle the packaging. The spokesperson suggested other parties may have been responsible for the irresponsible disposal: “Amazon Go’s policy is to donate unsold food that is still in good condition to local non-profits to help support the community. … In certain circumstances, our community partners may also be discarding food but we can’t comment on the details of their practices.”
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