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Dunkin' debuts ecofriendly store

ST. PETERSBURG Fla. Dunkin’ Donuts said it has opened its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified unit in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The store, which is owned and operated by franchisee Robert Aziz, is the chain’s first “green” building and will serve as its prototype for future environmentally safe build-outs, Dunkin' said.

According to company officials, the new unit sports such ecofriendly features as insulated concrete foam walls to reduce air conditioning usage by about 40 percent and energy-efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures.

In addition, the new Dunkin' Donuts unit has an on-site earthworm casting facility that naturally composts the waste created by the store. Housed in a solar-powered tank, around 80 pounds of small red earthworms will eat such in-store created waste as coffee grounds and paper products. The worms’ waste will then be converted into fertilizer for local farms and gardens.

The new store also offers a reusable mug program that rewards customers with a discount for bringing in their own coffee mugs, and paper hot cups instead of the plastic foam variety. The store also adopted the use of green cleaning products and said it would donate leftover food to America’s Second Harvest food bank.

Dunkin' Donuts has more than 7,900 franchised units worldwide and is a division of Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin' Brands Inc.

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