Lowe’s commitment to improve the health of our communities is demonstrated each year through our recycling programs. In partnership with our employees and customers, we’re continually working to increase recycling rates and reduce waste in our communities.
As a service to customers, Lowe’s began partnering with Call2Recycle in 2004 to recycle rechargeable batteries in our stores. We recently celebrated a decade of in-store recycling and reached a rare milestone, surpassing 3 million pounds of rechargeable batteries collected from customers.
Last year alone, Lowe’s recycled more than 289 tons of batteries, 34 tons of CFLs and 173 tons of plastic bags, the equivalent of 23 million bags.
Our recycling numbers have grown each year as we’ve raised awareness around our recycling centers near the entrance of U.S. stores. The centers offer a free and easy way for customers to recycle rechargeable batteries, cell phones, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and plastic shopping bags. Last year alone, Lowe’s recycled more than 289 tons of batteries, 34 tons of CFLs and 173 tons of plastic bags, the equivalent of 23 million bags.
We’ve also made it easier to recycle plastic plant containers at our stores. In 2013, we completed the first full year of our garden center plastic recycling program in Canada. Consumers can now drop off plastic plant pots and trays at all Lowe’s stores in the continental United States and Canada regardless of where the nursery items were purchased. Lowe’s garden centers recycled an estimated 3,800 tons of plastic through the program in 2013, bringing our total collection to more than 11,000 tons since 2011.
As we serve the needs of customers, Lowe’s remains just as focused on minimizing our own footprint and cutting costs by reducing the waste we generate at our facilities. We have reduced total expenses for our waste and recycling programs by more than 80 percent over the past five years with the expansion of initiatives such as our DC Return Program. We continue to grow the number of stores that ship wood pallets, cardboard, plastic and other material to their respective distribution centers for consolidation, reuse and recycling.
Our stores and distribution centers recycled more than 425,000 tons of cardboard and wood pallets in 2013, the equivalent weight of 10 aircraft carriers. We continued to increase the amount of plastic we recycle as we improved store participation. In addition, we reduced the solid-waste stream by recycling an estimated 60,000 tons of appliances and scrap metal. When customers purchase a new appliance, Lowe’s will haul away and recycle their old appliances for free.
Together with our vendors, national partners, employees and customers, we’ll continue to take steps to improve our recycling programs, reduce costs and create healthier communities.
We increased our year-over-year CFL collections more than 50 percent as the use of energy-efficient light bulbs continues to grow.
For the past five years, Lowe’s recycling centers have given customers a free and easy way to minimize their environmental footprint.
The recycling centers are located near the entrance of stores, providing a single destination for customers to drop off rechargeable batteries, cell phones, CFLs and plastic shopping bags.
Lowe’s recycles about 50,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries a month.
Reaching Recycling Milestone