“Drop & Shop” Retail Recycling Programs Provide Great “Environment” for Consumers

Over half of those returning batteries to stores stay to shop

US and Canadian consumer recycling habitsATLANTA (November 20, 2012) Of those who “drop and shop,” 51% in the U.S. and 56% in Canada go beyond replacing what they just recycled to shop and buy other items, according to a recent study commissioned by Call2Recycle®, a product stewardship organization managing the only no-cost battery and cellphone collection program in North America.  Of those surveyed, 54% in the U.S. and 45% in Canada consider retailers a key source for learning about recycling programs where 18% of the U.S. population and 24% of the Canadian population participates in retail “take back” programs for the collection and recycling of batteries and cellphones.

This is good news for the many environmentally-committed retailers who offer take back programs for their customers. Major retailers such as The Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), Canadian Tire (TSX: CTC), RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) all offer onsite collection of recyclables, including rechargeable batteries. Up to 80% of battery and cellphone recyclers surveyed cited “convenience” as a major motive for participation and up to 80% of respondents say they have positive feelings about stores that offer such programs.

 “When collection programs are convenient and accessible, busy consumers will integrate recycling into their routines, setting the stage for growth in recycling participation,” says Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle. And with busy consumers spending up to half their leisure time (according to Reader’s Digest) running errands, the ability to consolidate seems to be a major driver in determining which tasks get accomplished.  Adds Smith, “We are continuing to work with retailers to make it even easier for people still holding on to rechargeable batteries to fit recycling into their weekly errand list.” 91% of the U.S. population has access to a Call2Recycle battery collection location within ten miles of their residence.

According to the response data, consumer support of product recycling is heavily influenced by three key factors: the mode of product collection; how accessible the collection program is for consumers; and their general awareness of take back programs. Batteries and cellphones, among other products, are primarily collected at retail outlets where consumers already shop.

Call2Recycle counts consumer participation through the retailer’s programs as part of its impressive record of more than 70 million pounds (34 million kilograms) of rechargeable batteries diverted from the waste stream.  This participation can only increase as 67% and 75% of non-battery and cellphone recyclers surveyed, in the U.S. and Canada respectively, say they intend to recycle in the future.

Research Source:

2012 Omnibus and Attitude & Usage research commissioned by Call2Recycle, and conducted by IPSOS, a global independent market research company.

Call2Recycle® is a product stewardship program providing no-cost battery and cellphone recycling solutions across the U.S. and Canada. Operated by Call2Recycle, Inc., a 501(c)4 nonprofit public service organization, the program is funded by battery and product manufacturers committed to responsible recycling.