Atlanta, Georgia — With more than 1,800 stores collecting rechargeable batteries from customers, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. has reached a rare milestone in the world of corporate sustainability. Call2Recycle® – North America’s first and largest battery product stewardship program – has announced that Lowe’s has recycled more than three million pounds of rechargeable batteries since joining the program. The home improvement company began working with Call2Recycle to collect rechargeable batteries in 2004.
Each year, Lowe’s has increased customer participation and the volume of rechargeable batteries it’s collected. In 2013 alone, the company collected more than 578,000 pounds (262,176 kilograms) of rechargeable batteries – the largest one-year total in the history of the partnership and nearly 50 percent more than Lowe’s collected in 2010.
„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 & president of Call2Recycle. „The year-over-year increase in battery collections confirms that Lowe’s convenient process is helping consumers make the choice to recycle, and they do.“
Rechargeable battery use is on the rise. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 350 million rechargeable batteries are purchased annually in the U.S. to power everyday items such as cordless tools, cellphones and laptops. The responsible recycling of batteries that power these products and others can divert millions of pounds of potentially harmful heavy metals from landfills and help preserve natural resources. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Call2Recycle has established over 34,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada and diverted more than 85 million pounds (39 million kilograms) of batteries from the waste stream.
„Recycling rechargeable batteries is an easy way for consumers to reduce their environmental impact and help improve our communities,“ said Michael Chenard, Lowe’s director of sustainability. „Lowe’s works hard to share that message and raise awareness around the importance of recycling. We look forward to continuing to partner with Call2Recycle to inspire others to recycle.“
A two-time winner of Call2Recycle’s Leader in Sustainability award, Lowe’s participates in local recycling programs with national nonprofit partner Keep America Beautiful and provides several community recycling services in addition to its in-store recycling centers. When customers purchase a new appliance, Lowe’s will haul away and recycle their old appliances for free. Customers also can drop off plastic plant trays and pots for recycling at any Lowe’s garden center. Since launching the garden center program in 2011, Lowe’s has helped keep nearly 23 million pounds of plastic containers out of landfills.