Waste & Recycling Loading...
In an effort to promote the responsible management of both our natural and financial assets, Sears Holdings recycles, composts, donates and liquidates a variety of materials that flow through our value chain. In partnership with our vendors, we have implemented multiple recycling programs for materials such as cardboard, plastic, tires and more. Through these programs, we reduce our environmental impact and encourage our associates and members to do the same.
As the primary contributor to our organization’s recycling stream, cardboard made up more than 50 percent of Sears Holdings’ recycled materials in 2017. Our associates work diligently to collect, bale and prepare corrugated cardboard for pickup according to our recycling processes. It is through these processes that we are able to reduce operational costs and meet our sustainability objectives. In 2017, Sears Holdings recycled more than 60,000 tons of corrugated cardboard and paper.
Plastics contribute to an estimated 13 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream due to their widespread use in items such as appliances, consumer packaged goods and medical devices.** If the current lifecycle of plastic remains unchanged, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050.*** At Sears Holdings, we strive to develop solutions for proper end-of-life management for the plastics that end up in our store and facility waste streams. In 2017, Sears Holdings diverted 1,200 tons of mixed plastics from landfill.
In 2017, Sears Auto Centers recycled more than 9,300 tons of lead acid batteries. As an incentive, members and customers who bring in an automotive, lawn and garden, marine or power sport battery to be recycled receive a $5 award card to be used for a future purchase. Through their closed-loop battery recycling program, Sears Auto Centers are able to recycle more than 100 percent of the battery’s components and reclaim 97 percent for use in new battery products, with the remainder recycled for other uses.
For over 30 years, Sears Auto Centers have been a leader in tire recycling and disposal. In 2017, nearly 20,000 tons of tires were recycled through our enterprise recycling partnerships. The recycled material is given a second life as products such as crumb rubber, mulch and tire-derived fuel. We have exciting partnerships planned in 2018 which will give our Sears Auto Centers the opportunity to increase the amount of tires recycled through our facilities.
In 2017, we recycled nearly 6,000 tons of used motor oil and oil filters. Additionally, we recycle oily water in our facilities using on-site separators in an effort to keep the soil, streams, rivers and groundwater clean in the communities in which we operate. As we continue to conserve oil, we reduce the need to extract new oil as it can be recycled without diminishing quality.
Sears, the first broad line retailer to join the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program in 2007, proudly continues this partnership by hauling away and responsibly discarding our members' old refrigerators, freezers, air conditioner units and dehumidifiers when they purchase new, energy-efficient products. This means that Sears recovers and properly disposes of the ozone-depleting chemicals from the discarded appliances, reducing CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases. In 2017, Sears processed and responsibly disposed of more than 191,000 refrigerators, freezers, AC units and dehumidifiers, resulting in avoided greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 199,000 metric tons CO2 equivalent.****
Phone & Battery Recycling
In partnership with Call2Recycle – North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program - we collected more than 31,700 pounds of customer and member batteries and cell phones for recycling in 2017. Because of these efforts we were honored to receive the 2017 Call2Recycle Leaders in Sustainability Award for our commitment to recycling.
**Environmental Protection Agency https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/
***World Economic Forum Report, http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_New_Plastics_Economy.pdf
****At the time of publication of the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report, the EPA had not yet reviewed 2017 RAD data.