January 31st, 2017

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Could Recycle at London Drugs

You probably recycle the basics. But there are some things you might not have thought of that you can get out of your closets and keep out of the landfill. Check out this video of one of our new Recycling Centres surprising a few shoppers at our Cambie St. Store in Vancouver. Then check the list below to see what YOU can recycle on your next trip to London Drugs.

Smoke alarm recycling at London Drugs1. Smoke Alarms – After a while they stop working. Or maybe you upgrade to newer technology. Whatever the reason, if you end up with an old smoke alarm IT SHOULD NEVER GO IN THE LANDFILL! Smoke alarms actually contain very small amounts of radioactive material, and this should always be recycled responsibly. Bring it to your local LD store and we’ll take care of it.

Recycling a Vacuum Cleaner at London Drugs2. Your Old Vacuum Cleaner – When it no longer sucks, bring it to London Drugs. Our recycling partner breaks the units down and recycles them responsibly. In fact, London Drugs takes back any kind of small appliance with a cord. (Here’s me getting rid of an old clunker and buying a sweet new Dyson!)

3. Microwave Ovens – Yes, London Drugs takes these appliances, too. No, it probably WON’T get picked up if you just leave it in the alley.

VHS tapes recycling4. Old VHS Tapes – When that old copy of Gone With The Wind is finally toast, bring it to London Drugs. We make sure old media finds a new life as waste-to-energy instead of taking up landfill space. (Limits per customer per visit may apply – ask at your local LD store) Bring in the old VHS player too, if you like. We recycle all sorts of electronics as well.

recycling old cables and chargers5. Cords, Cables and Chargers – Who doesn’t have a drawer containing some old, unidentified electronic spaghetti? It all contains copper, plastic and electronic components that can be recovered. Bring it on.

Find out more at greendeal.ca – You can recycle all sorts of stuff at London Drugs without making an extra trip to the depot.

October 19th, 2015

How to lose 100lb in a week (From your garbage, that is) 
Canada Waste Reduction Week, Oct 19 – 25, 2015

How to recycle electronics batteries and appliances at London Drugs

Waste is still piling up. It’s time to take action! And this week is a great time to make new commitments and shed those unwanted pounds.

Recycling and Waste Reduction Week started in 2001, when recycling councils and organizations from across Canada came together and expanded their local efforts into a national event.

Divert those food scraps! Use your municipal food scraps collection, if you have one. And compost the peels, rinds and uncooked veggie matter in a backyard composter.
Weight of food scraps an average Western Canadian family produces per week: 3kg / 6.6 lbs *

Recycle an old computer. Who needs a computer that can’t even open a 2015 web page? Bring it to London Drugs. We’ll make sure it’s recycled right, and the data destroyed.
Weight of an average old junky computer: 5Kg – 11 lb Weight of an old CRT style screen: 10Kg – 22 lb

Recycle those old batteries! The average household throws out about 8 batteries per year. That may not sound like a lot, but dry cell batteries contribute about 88 percent of the total mercury and 50 percent of the cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. (US stat*) So bring those in to us, and shave a few important ounces off your waste.
8 AA batteries approx .2 Kg – .44 lb

Recycle a small appliance According to one estimate, Canadians purchase over 24 million small appliances a year.* So what happens to the old ones? Well if it has a power cord, you can recycle your small appliances right at your local London Drugs.
Average weight of a clothes iron: 1kg – 2.2 lb

Recycle that old FatScreen It’s time to join the 2000’s. Flat screens are bigger, better, lighter and use way less energy. So if you have an old tube style TV lying around, don’t chuck it in the dumpster or leave it in the alley. Just bring it to London Drugs for responsible recycling.
Average weight of a 27” Tube TV: 30kg – 66 lb

Total Weight Lost: 46.2Kg – 101.64 lb

Way to go! You did it!  Now make some all-year long waste reduction resolutions to keep that weight off! Here’s a link to all the things you can recycle at your local London Drugs store, and you can always search online for even more stewardship programs and depots in your area.

Waste Reduction Week Canada

Recycling Council of BC

March 26th, 2013

Where does London Drugs recycling go?

Circuit boards can contain gold and other precious metals – Photo: L. Craig

For most of our customers, once their recycling is dropped off, it’s out of sight, out of mind. But for London Drugs, the recycling bin is just the beginning of the process.
We do our homework, choosing recyclers who know where your materials go and what happens to them. This is especially important when it comes to electronics, which can contain some pretty hazardous materials.
So here are some quick notes on what goes where when you bring it to our big Blue Box.

Electronics – TV’s, computers, VCR’s, printers and other electronics are shipped to either GEEP (Alberta, Sask. & Man.) or E-Cycle  where they are separated into components such as plastic, glass, circuit boards, tubes, and various metals. Non-toxic materials are sorted and bundled for sale as commodities for remanufacture. Both GEEP and E-Cycle are certified through ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004.
Circuit boards and TV tubes are sent to smelters where they are safely melted down and their precious metals recovered.
NO London Drugs electronics for recycling are shipped offshore unprocessed.

GEN-diss-line

An Electronics Disassembly Line  – Photo: L.Craig

Small Appliances – As with electronics, all our small appliances are disassembled in Canada and separated into commodities.

Cell Phones and Batteries – These items are handled through the Call-2-Recycle program, the only free used battery and cellphone collection program in North America. Cellphones are recycled, refurbished and/or resold. When resold, a portion of the proceeds are donated to select charities. None of the broken down material makes its way into landfills. Batteries are processed at North American facilities, in BC, Ontario, Quebec and Pennsylvania, for recovery of cadmium and lithium.

L5140504

Recycled Paper returns to London Drugs as products.

Paper and CardboardCascades Recovery is our partner for recycling paper and cardboard. It is sorted and bundled up at their Surrey facility and sent to Canadian mills for remanufacture into paper products. Some of our recycled cardboard even makes its way back on to store shelves as recycled toilet tissue!

Soft Plastics, Bottles and Medication Containers – These are also collected by Cascades Recovery and sent to Orbis or Merlin Plastics in Delta, BC.

Styrofoam™ – All expanded polystyrene from London Drugs packaging that customers return is sent to Foam Only in Coquitlam, BC where it is compressed for remanufacture as polystyrene. This is a process that uses no heat and releases no toxins.

Light Bulbs, CFL Bulbs and Fluorescent Tubes – Compact Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, so they must be handled with care. All of our light products are recycled through the LightRecycle program, managed by ProductCare. Bulbs are crushed in a controlled environment, so all toxins are filtered out and recovered.

As you can see, recycling is a complex science that goes well beyond the Blue Box. By working with top suppliers, we are doing our best to ensure we are part of the solution, not creating new problems down the line. If you want to know more, follow us on Twitter @WTGreenDeal, or comment below. We’re happy to talk more recycling with you.

January 4th, 2012

Happy Green Year! 10 Sustainable Resolutions for 2012


The tree is at the chipper and the organic eggnog is past its expiry date. So if you are the resolving type, now may be a good time to consider one or two New Years resolutions of the sustainable variety. Here are a few on my list. Because everyone is on their own green journey, I have listed them in ascending order of difficulty. Got any green resolutions of your own? Please comment below and let me know!

Easy as shelling a green bean:

1. Recycle your batteries. Nowadays, all types of batteries can be brought back to your local London Drugs (and many other places as well) with the Call2Recycle program drop-off boxes. I keep a small bag in my kitchen drawer for watch batteries, single-use alkalines and the rechargeables that just won’t recharge any more.

2. Keep track of your mileage. It’s amazing how much difference low tire pressure or a heavy accelerator foot can make to your gas consumption, but you never know until you track it. Note mileage when you fill up and calculate the difference next time you top up. Divide liters into kilometers, move the decimal point a few places over and you get your liters per 100km rating. Example: At last fill, my 2003 Honda Element used 36.07 liters to travel 397 km. 36.07 ÷ 397 = .09 or approximately 9L/100km.

3. Wash your clothes in cold water – Not only is it easier on fabrics, but cold water washing saves energy and money. All it takes is a flick of the switch.

Greener and a little tougher – (more like celery):

4. Take your bike or transit one day a week to work or school. This is a no-brainer if you live downtown, but a lot tougher if you have a rancher in the ‘burbs. Try it anyway, just to see. You may be pleasantly surprised at the fun and exercise, or end up lobbying city hall for better transit service!

5. De-Clutter all of your old electronics and recycle them. From the ancient cell phone in your desk drawer to the old PC in the garage, give up on the idea that you will ever be able to sell them. Take them somewhere you know they will be recycled properly and any leftover data securely destroyed. Like, say, London Drugs.

6. Shop at a farmers market once a month. This is a fun day trip for the family. Take along a little extra cash, because real hand-grown food is generally more expensive than the Food Incorporated variety. But its a great way to remind the kids that food does not grow on shelves.

Deep Hippie Green

7. Know where everything you buy comes from. Read labels. Do some online research on your favourite brands. Do you know where your regular stores’ head offices are? (London Drugs is 100% Canadian owned and headquartered in Richmond, BC) The more you know about global supply chains, the better equipped you will be to vote with your wallet.

8. Buy power bars and really turn off the appliances you aren’t using. ‘Standby Power’, or the small trickle of electricity many appliances use even while in the ‘off’ position, really adds up. (A 1998 study estimated that devices on standby accounted for about 5% of U.S. residential electricity consumption, adding some $3 billion to annual energy costs) Sure, your DVD player will flash 12:00, but do you REALLY need it to tell you the time? Note: Be sure not to disconnect your alarm clock.

9. Commit to using more rechargeable batteries. This is a bit of an expense as you get going, but trust me – you will save money in the long run. And it is quite satisfying to reach for batteries you charged yourself and know that’s one less set of cells that need to be paid for and disposed of.

10. Replace your old major appliances. From the ancient, wheezing, refrigerator to the avocado-coloured washing machine from 1972, to the giant fat-screen TV in the den, old appliances suck. (Water and power that is) Look for the EnerGuide Label and get the most efficient unit that will suit your needs. Like this sweet LCD TV.

Keep on Sustaining!
Most importantly, wherever you are on the great green journey, stay on the course. Every little bit counts, and we are all in this crazy New Year together. That’s the real Green Deal!

October 4th, 2011

Unplugged Small Appliance Recycling Program launches in BC


Over the past few years, shoppers in BC have been participating in stewardship programs for the recycling of landfill-clogging items such as old tires, car batteries and consumer electronics. Now the same strategy is being put to work to deal with the 2 million old appliances that end up in BC landfills every year.

As of October 1, 2011, the Unplugged Small Appliance Recycling Program has mandated that retailers in B.C. collect Eco Fees when selling small appliances – things like hair dryers, blenders, microwaves and clock radios. These fees are charged on new purchases, which funds the collection and recycling of the old stuff. (Items NOT covered include commercial appliances and anything not powered by electricity) The upside is, your old small appliances can now be dropped off for free at over 100 locations across the province.

At London Drugs we have been accepting and recycling our customers’ old small appliances for some time, and we are pleased to continue this service at no charge.

For our customers outside BC, we will continue to accept appliances for free recycling when a replacement is purchased in our stores. And whenever you recycle with London Drugs you know all your old appliances and electronics are disassembled responsibly, right here in BC.

Here is a sample of the small appliance fees we are now required by law to collect in British Columbia (Eco Fees are added automatically when the product is scanned and will show on a separate line on your receipt)

Product Category | Description | Recycling Fee

1 | Kitchen Countertop Motorized (e.g. blender) | $2.25
2 | Kitchen Countertop Heating (e.g. toaster) | $2.25
3 | Kitchen Countertop Coffee/Tea (e.g. Coffee Maker) | $2.00
4 | Large Microwave (1 cubic foot and over) | $10.00
5 | Small Microwave (Less than I cubic foot) | $7.50
6 | Time Measurement (e.g. Clock) | $0.75
7 | Weight Measurement (e.g. Bathroom scale) | $2.75
8 | Garment Care (e.g. Iron) | $1.00
9 | Air treatment (e.g. Air purifier) | $2.25
10 | Desk and Tabletop Fans | $1.25
11 | Personal Care (e.g. Hair Dryer) | $1.00
12 | Large Floor Cleaning (e.g. Carpet Cleaner) | $5.25
13 | Small Floor Cleaning (e.g. Handheld Vacuum) | $1.00
14 | Designated very small Items (e.g. Air Freshener) | $0.25

These Eco Fees are designed to deliver significant environmental benefits, covering the cost of collecting and recycling the product. Consumers of these products now share the cost of recycling rather than all taxpayers paying for landfilling or incineration.

Fees collected go to The Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association (CESA), a not-for-profit agency comprised of manufacturers, distributors and retailers. CESA chose the Product Care Association (managers of the CFL recycling program), to be the program manager for the BC Small Appliances Recycling Program.

BC Environment Minister Terry Lake said in a press release, “These programs have helped put B.C. on the map as an environmental leader, and we are happy to continue this tradition.”

And London Drugs will continue to lead the way by making recycling as easy as possible for our customers. That’s the real Green Deal.