The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 350 million rechargeable batteries are purchased every year in the United States to power everyday items such as cordless tools, cellphones and laptops. These batteries are a long-lasting power source, but they require proper disposal at the end of their usable life.
As a service to customers and our communities, Lowe’s began recycling rechargeable batteries in our stores in 2004. Recently, we marked a decade of in-store recycling by celebrating a rare achievement. Lowe’s surpassed 3 million pounds of rechargeable batteries collected from customers, becoming one of just a few companies to reach that milestone.
In partnership with Call2Recycle® – North America’s first and largest battery product stewardship program – we’ve increased customer and store participation every year. In 2013, Lowe’s collected more than 578,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries – the largest one-year total in the history of the partnership and nearly 50 percent more than we collected in 2010, the year we introduced our first-of-its-kind recycling center.
The recycling centers near the entrance of Lowe’s stores offer customers a free and easy way to properly dispose of rechargeable batteries, cell phones, CFLs and plastic shopping bags; materials that otherwise could be potentially harmful to the environment.
Lowe’s integrated collection efforts are a great example of recycling best practices in the retail sector – a streamlined program with a single collection area for multiple materials.– Carl Smith, CEO and president, Call2Recycle, Inc
“Lowe’s integrated collection efforts are a great example of recycling best practices in the retail sector – a streamlined program with a single collection area for multiple materials,” said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, Inc. “The year-over-year increase in recycling confirms that Lowe’s streamlined process is helping consumers make the choice to recycle, and they do.”
Our recycling centers also help us minimize the impact of products we sell. As the number of wireless products powered by rechargeable batteries grows, we’ve worked harder to raise awareness around the importance of recycling batteries when they reach the end of their life.
Since launching our all-in-one recycling centers in 2010, collection boxes have become mainstream in other retail stores. Call2Recycle has established more than 34,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada, and diverted more than 85 million pounds of batteries from the waste stream.