Retailers Launch Recycling Initiatives

Big Box retailers such as Best Buy, Office Depot, Ace Hardware and Wal-Mart Stores are each providing different types of intermittent recycling efforts in an attempt to seize on “Green Marketing” opportunities.

While some are better than others, in most cases, these efforts seem to amount to a lot of lip-service and patronizing ad speak rather than full fledged programs that really promote and support recycling.

Here’s what I’ve uncovered so far, see what you think:

Best BuyCo. last year begain a program that sponsors local drop-off events around the country where people can bring in carloads of unused items.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could bring in your old monitor or fax machine any time, not just at a prescribed special event possibly faced with a long line of other ‘carloads’ of junk?

Office Depot Inc. began selling recycling ‘boxes’ at $5 to $15 that customers fill with office items like laptops, fax machines and phones to be recycled. ( Office Depot claims the cost of the box helps fund the recycling program)

This is a little better than the Best Buy program. At least you can recycle on your own schedule.

Ace Hardware stores in the Chicago area and parts of Wisconsin started programs in 2007 to recycle mercury-containing compact fluorescent bulbs.

This one is a great idea and it sounds like we’ll keep a lot of the Mercury out of landfills, at least in Chicagoland and the state of Wisconsin.

Wal-Mart Stores held a pilot ‘take-back’ day last summer at over 300 of its stores but I couldn’t confirm what they took back and it’s kind of like the Best Buy situation: save up your junk, bring it in on a particular day and hope that the line is short and you don’t have anything better to do.

All in all, it’s actually great to see that retailers are trying to put together programs that will help us keep toxins like lead and mercury out of landfills.

Boulder valley has several recycling locations at various levels. Some take more “hard to recycle” materials and yep, even in Boulder some of those centers are limited in the number of hours they are open or the types of items they will accept.

Here are some local Boulder Colorado area recycling resources:

– – (303) 444-6634

Western Disposal Services
– – (303) 444-2037

Western Aluminum Recycling
– – (303) 447-0252

ReSource Reclaimed Building Materials
– – (303) 419-5418

Wireless Alliance LLC
– – (303) 543-7477
ยท Cell Phones

Cellular Recycler
– – (303) 258-8888

Boulder Recycling Center
(303) 449-1857

Green Mountain Recycling Services
(303) 442-7535

Boulder Scrap Metals Pickup
(303) 442-2195

The largest challenge seems to be that consumers don’t know that certain products like a fluorescent bulb or a computer monitor are dangerous and shouldn’t be put into the trash (and hence end up in a landfill) but the conundrum for many of us is even if we do know we shouldn’t; we don’t know where to take these items to recycle them.

Wisdom To Live By:

On Example

A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.

Author Unknown


2 Responses to “Retailers Launch Recycling Initiatives”

  1. Lindsey on February 13th, 2008 3:29 pm

    I agree with you… I always look at these “greenwashing” attempts with a skeptical eye (especially Office Depot… you have to pay to recycle?!?). But people should be more aware of what they put in the trash… even batteries shouldn’t go in–California actually made throwing away batteries illegal. But if you have something and don’t know where to recycle it, is a pretty good site, as you can type in your city and what you need to recycle (paint, cell phone charger etc.)

  2. Zachary Epps on February 14th, 2008 12:51 pm

    Hey Lindsey! Thanks for the great tip on the earth911 website.

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