Walgreens cuts and runs

By on June 4, 2015

Pharmacy giant packs up, dumps entire store contents at landfill

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – The Planet confirmed workers were busy Thursday clearing out Walgreens of all store inventory by trucking merchandise to the county landfill. An employee at the transfer station said truckloads of unopened and brand new stock was brought to the facility and dumped by Westbank Sanitation and other hired movers. The merchandise included canned and packaged food, paper towels and cleaning products, healthcare items, toys, and more. “Everything you would find in a Walgreens store,” said a solid waste manager who preferred not to be named.

Walgreens’ spokesman Phil Caruso could not be reached for comment. Those dumping the merchandise told transfer facility employees that insurance policy dictated all inventory from a decommissioned store required the company to trash merchandise instead of giving it to local charities.

Walgreens store merchandise dumped at transfer station. (ALBIE ROBERTSON)

Walgreens store merchandise dumped at transfer station. (Albie Robertson)

Good Samaritan executive director Chuck Fidroeff lamented Walgreens’ decision to trash all of its products. “What a shame. What a waste,” he said. “We could certainly use that stuff. Donations like that are how we stay in business.”

Fidroeff pointed to the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act in particular, which he said would absolve Walgreens of any liability as far as donated produce is concerned.

“We get food from Smith’s, Albertson’s, Whole Grocer, Lucky’s – all of them,” Fidroeff said. “The Jackson Cupboard, the Mission, we have lots of storage space for whatever they could give us. I would love to have anything.”

Mayor Sara Flitner said it was the first she heard of the store clearing. “That’s a shame,” Flitner said. “I’m going to make some phone calls right away and see if we can’t get this stopped or halted until we figure it out. Maybe we could set aside a pile out there at the transfer station where people could come and get things they want or need.”

Walgreens officials spent nearly a year waffling on a permanent decision for the store that has remained closed since the April 2014 landslide on Budge Butte. The resulting damage buckled the chain pharmacy’s parking lot and prompted a yearlong closure. Walgreens announced earlier this year it would decommission the store and pull out of Jackson, at least at the current location.

A van backs into store front loading merchandise to be trucked to landfill (JAKE NICHOLS)

A van backs into Walgreens’ vacant lot to load merchandise slated for the landfill. (Jake Nichols)

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