3 million and counting: Lowe’s hits rare milestone in battery recycling

Call2Recycle commends home improvement company for success of in-store recycling centers

joe-at-lowesATLANTA (April 24, 2014) – With more than 1,800 stores collecting rechargeable batteries from customers, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) has reached a rare milestone in the world of corporate sustainability. Call2Recycle® – North America’s first and largest battery product stewardship program – announced today that Lowe’s has recycled more than 3 million pounds of rechargeable batteries since joining the program.

The home improvement company began working with Call2Recycle to collect rechargeable batteries in 2004. Six years later, Lowe’s added a first-of-its-kind recycling center near store entrances to increase the collection of batteries and also offer customers a free and easy way to properly dispose of cellphones, CFLs and plastic shopping bags; materials that otherwise could be potentially harmful to the environment.

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.

C2R471-Lowe's-2014-Recycling-Bin-Success-Infographic-ART-4.22.14a“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, Inc. “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 U.S. 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.

Learn more about Lowe’s recycling initiatives at Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility. To find a store and recycling center near you, visit Lowes.com/StoreLocator.

Key Partnership Milestones

2004 – Lowe’s joins the Call2Recycle program.
2005 – More than 1,000 Lowe’s stores participate in the program.
2009 – Lowe’s battery collections reach 1 million pounds.
2012 – Lowe’s battery collections reach 2 million pounds.
2014 – Lowe’s battery collections reach 3 million pounds. 

About Call2Recycle®
Founded in 1994, Call2Recycle—North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program—is a non-profit organization that collects and recycles batteries at no cost for municipalities, businesses and consumers. 2014 commemorates Call2Recycle’s 20th anniversary in battery collection and recycling. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted more than 85 million pounds (39 million kilograms) of batteries and cellphones from the solid waste stream and established over 34,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is the first program of its kind to receive the Responsible Recycling Practices Standard (R2) certification. Learn more at call2recycle.org or 877-723-1297.  Follow at facebook.com/call2recycle or twitter.com/call2recycle.

Call2Recycle Media Contact: Jen Childress, jchildress@call2recycle.org

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 100 home improvement company serving approximately 15 million customers a week in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With fiscal year 2013 sales of $53.4 billion, Lowe’s has more than 1,830 home improvement and hardware stores and 260,000 employees. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

Lowe’s Media contact: Steve Salazar, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., 704-758-4345, steve.j.salazar@lowes.com

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