Lowe’s Launches Recycling Centers in U.S. Stores

Lowe’s announced today it has installed recycling centers in nearly 1,700 stores throughout the U.S. to provide a one-stop recycling destination for customers. The permanent recycling centers offer a free, convenient and easy way for customers to recycle rechargeable batteries, cell phones, CFLs and plastic shopping bags.

Lowe's is introducing a new recycling center to allow customers to recycle rechargeable batteries, C ...

Lowe's is introducing a new recycling center to allow customers to recycle rechargeable batteries, CFLs, cell phones and plastic shopping bags in one centralized location. The bins can be found near the entrance of Lowe's stores across the U.S. (Photo: Business Wire)

As consumers continue to recycle products at a growing rate, the newly launched recycling centers will allow for the safe and proper disposal of these items in an easy-to-use bin near the store entrance. At each Lowe’s store in the contiguous 48 states, customers can drop off any expired, unbroken CFL, any rechargeable battery up to 11 pounds and all used cell phones and plastic shopping bags. Lowe’s stores in Canada also feature recycling centers to ensure CFLs and batteries are responsibly recycled. The products are safely shipped to recycling facilities to process and reclaim materials that are used to make new products.

“Lowe's is always looking for new and better ways to serve our customers and continue to be responsible stewards of the environment,” said Michael Chenard, Lowe’s director of environmental affairs. “Recycling is a simple way to help reduce unnecessary waste in our communities. The recycling centers make it easier for customers to make a difference, and we look forward to continuing to partner with them to promote and support community recycling.”

Since 2004, Lowe’s stores have helped raise awareness about the importance of recycling and diverted more than 1 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from local landfills by providing in-store battery recycling stations. Call2Recycle®, Lowe’s longtime rechargeable battery and cell phone collection partner, estimates that consumers use an average of six wireless products in their day-to-day lives. Rechargeable batteries are a long-lasting and environmentally responsible power source for many of these devices, but they require proper disposal at the end of their usable life.

Each year since joining the Call2Recycle program, Lowe’s has increased the volume of rechargeable batteries it recovers from consumers, with more than 334,000 pounds recycled last year. Lowe’s teamed with Call2Recycle this summer in an effort to reach the MyCall2Recycle campaign goal of collecting 1 million pounds of batteries between mid-July and Oct. 1. Lowe’s stores in Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth hosted collection drive events as part of the campaign.

Replacing traditional light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® qualified CFLs is one of the easiest ways to cut home energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs use 75 percent less energy, last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and will save about $40 over their lifetime, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, the EPA estimates that more than 500 million CFLs, approximately three of every four CFLs sold in the U.S. each year, are improperly discarded. Lowe’s recycling center makes it as easy to recycle CFLs as it is to purchase them.

In addition to the recycling center, Lowe’s continues to take steps to help consumers and the company reduce their environmental impact. Other recent sustainability efforts and achievements include:

  • Now in its fifth year of a nationwide pallet recycling program, Lowe’s recycled more than 166,000 tons of wood pallets in 2009 as well as 147,000 tons of cardboard and nearly 400 tons of shrink wrap.
  • Lowe’s expanded its appliance recycling program to all stores this spring. With the purchase of a new appliance, Lowe’s hauls away customers’ old appliances for free.
  • This year the EPA named Lowe’s the first winner of the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award in Retail. The honor is Lowe’s eighth consecutive ENERGY STAR award for its leadership as a retailer of energy-efficient products.
  • A sales-floor lighting retrofit completed this year put more than 3 million new high-efficiency fluorescent lamps in 812 stores. The estimated collective energy savings is enough to power more than 50,000 homes for a year.
  • Last fall, Lowe’s rolled out a store landscape irrigation program that includes the installation of smart controllers, which can reduce water consumption by as much as 50 percent by automatically adjusting the watering schedule as the local weather changes.

Find out more about Lowe’s environmental initiatives at Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility. For more on everyday ways to save energy, water and money, visit Lowes.com/EfficientHome.

About Lowe’s

With fiscal year 2009 sales of $47.2 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,725 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

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