April 21st, 2017

London Drugs Reaches Battery Collection Milestone – Over 300,000 kg Recycled with Call2Recycle®!

300,000Kg of batteries recycled by London Drugs

It’s an amazing save! London Drugs, in partnership with Call2Recycle®, has now diverted over 300,000 kg of batteries from landfill since 2000. That’s the equivalent weight of 1.7 million hockey pucks. London Drugs is the first Western Canada-based retailer in the Call2Recycle program to reach this recycling milestone.

Seventeen years ago, London Drugs began offering the Call2Recycle battery take-back program to its customers in its stores throughout Western Canada.  Originally accepting only rechargeable batteries, the program expanded to include single-use batteries (such as AA, AAA, 9v, etc.) in 2010 in BC and in 2012 to the rest of western Canada. London Drugs now averages about 50,000 kg of batteries collected annually.

“We are committed to offering sustainable options for our customers — not only through the products we sell, but also by providing solutions for the proper end-of-life management for those products,” says Maury McCausland, London Drugs Retail Operations Sustainability Specialist. “Offering an in-store battery recycling program to our customers aligns with our overall environmental commitment to ensure we are lessening our impact on our planet and in our communities.”

“Since our program launched in Canada 20 years ago, we have successfully collected and recycled over 13.5 million kilograms of batteries,” said Joe Zenobio, president of Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. “Without the commitment to responsible recycling from collection partners like London Drugs, this accomplishment wouldn’t be possible.”

And it wouldn’t be possible without YOU bringing in those old batteries. So save them up, bring them to your local London Drugs and let’s keep piling on the numbers.

For more information on London Drugs recycling, visit http://greendeal.ca/recycling

March 1st, 2017

Daylight Savings BACON! An easy way to remember to check your smoke alarms and recycle those old batteries at London Drugs.

People like bacon a lot more than they like maintaining smoke alarms. So at daylight savings time, while we spring ahead, think BACON and remember to test your smoke detectors, change the batteries and recycle at London Drugs. Not only does your local LD store take back all types of alkaline and rechargeable batteries, we can also safely recycle your old smoke alarm if it fails the test. (This is especially important as smoke alarms can actually contain small amounts of radioactive material)

Then, treat yourself to… BACON! (Extra crispy!)

 

October 18th, 2016

Battery Salad? Don’t try this at home!

 

Of course no one should ever consider eating a battery. Though sometimes it is tempting to just throw old household batteries in the trash – after all they hardly take up any space.

Don’t let their size fool you! As this parody video illustrates, batteries (even the small watch-sized ones) contain toxins that we definitely do not want to bury in landfill. Because anything that goes into our environment can ultimately end up in our own food chain.

Recycling batteries is as easy as a trip to your local London Drugs.

We will accept alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries, button batteries, computer batteries, cell phone batteries, camera batteries – just not car batteries!

And all that battery recycling adds up. In an average year, our customers recycle about 43,000 kilograms of batteries.

That’s a lot of toxins saved from tossing.

London-Drugs-recycling-results-2015

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

August 30th, 2013

Your Green Battery Guide – Rechargeables vs. Alkaline – The Great Battery Debate

Battery comparison chartTo recharge or not to recharge? Is it cheaper? When does it make sense to use regular batteries? In this blog, we will explore some current thinking around the issue.
First, the options. The Energizer Recharge systems available at London Drugs offer several battery models, sizes and charger configurations, depending on the devices you want to run. From the basic mini charger for 2 AA or AAA batteries, to the 4-battery Smart Charger that shuts off automatically to save power, and lets you know if one of your batteries goes bad.
According to the Energizer.ca website, they offer 2 versions of rechargeables: The Recharge Universal, for devices that require frequent charging, and the Recharge Power Plus, designed for power hungry devices such as digital cameras.

Comparing single-use alkaline batteries to rechargeables

We compared the best battery deal energizer offers at London Drugs – 24 Alkaline batteries for just $17.99 – that’s about 75¢ each.
Regular price for 4 Recharge AA’s and the premium Smart Charger is $39.99. So in the worst case scenario, if you only bought those 4 batteries and used that one charger for them, the price per battery is about 10 bucks. (Realistically, the cost of the charger would be amortized over the lifespan of several battery sets)
Even with this biased comparison, the rechargeable batteries come even with the single-use batteries after being used just 13.3 times. To be practical, however, rechargeables (in my experience at least) lose some of their power over time, compared to alkalines. So a closer estimate might be 15 – 20 charges.
One blogger at TheSimpleDollar.com calculated his family’s battery consumption yearly and compared it to investing in rechargeable systems. They were paying $77.70 a year for quality AA’s. The equivalent number of rechargeables and charger cost them $148.74 to set up. So after 2 years, they were basically getting battery use for free. (An interesting sidebar – a year’s worth of electricity to recharge the batteries came to a whopping 24¢!)
Now, let’s look at the waste. One set of rechargeables and a charger vs. 15 – 20 alkaline batteries. Of course, both can be recycled (right here at London Drugs) but that’s still 15 – 20x the shipping, handling and recycling energy use right there.

Single-use batteries still have their uses

So, it makes total green sense to use rechargeable batteries, but there are times when single-use alkaline batteries may actually be more practical.
According to some online sources, it makes more sense to use traditional alkaline batteries for low-draw devices like your clocks, radios, smoke detectors, programmable thermostats, and remote controls because they lose power at a much slower rate than rechargeables. And because traditional alkaline batteries can hold a charge for years when not in use, they are a better choice for items that sit unused for long periods, like back-up batteries and emergency flashlights. Here are a few tips for getting every electron of power out of your single-use batteries.

Rechargeable Battery Care and Maintenance

Many rechargeable battery problems are due to overcharging or improper storage.  Overcharging is usually caused by  poorly designed first generation battery chargers that continue to deliver current to batteries even after they are fully charged.  “5- hour” and “8-hour” timer type chargers can damage NiCd or NiMH batteries if they are frequently used to charge batteries that are only partially discharged.
Another common cause of damage to NiCd and NiMH batteries is leaving them in a device like a flashlight left “ON” after the battery has run down. Appliances normally switch off when the battery is discharged.  But some devices, like flashlights and many toys, will continue to drain the battery even after the it is run down.  Eventually this could cause the polarity of the battery to reverse.  Once this happens the battery will not take a charge. Rechargeable batteries should be removed from any such devices that will not be used for several weeks or longer.

Rechargeable batteries also are not without their challenges. Energizer claims they can be charged ‘100’s of times’, but that may be a bit optimistic, depending on how they are used. But as our calculations show, even if rechargeables are used only 20 times, you (and the environment) still come out ahead.

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 26th, 2012

Recycled Batteries – Where do they go?


Modern electronics could not function without batteries, from sophisticated internal rechargeable cells to the single-use batteries in your emergency flashlight. Besides stored electrons, these batteries also contain complex compounds that can be harmful to the environment. Fortunately, many of these materials are also valuable enough to recover for use in remanufacturing.

Both rechargeable and single-use batteries may be dropped off at your local London Drugs through a program operated by Call2Recycle™ – a free battery and cell phone collection program funded by product manufacturers.

So what happens to old batteries once they leave our stores?

Lithium Ion batteries (one of the more common rechargeable types) are sent to Toxco, in Trail, BC. There, they are cooled to -325° F for safe remote-control processing. (Lithium is a very reactive element at normal temperatures, but much safer to handle when it’s almost as cold as outer space) The recovered lithium is converted to lithium carbonate for reuse. Metals recovered from other battery types at Toxco include nickel, iron, cadmium, lead, and cobalt. Plastic casings and other scrap are converted to energy.

Alkaline batteries are recycled at Inmetco, in Pennsylvania, USA, using a High Temperature Metals Recovery Process (HTMR) with other metal bearing materials, for an overall material recovery rate of 83%. Metals recovered include iron, nickel, manganese, copper, and zinc.

Ni-CAD, Ni-MH, Ni-Zn and single-use batteries are also sent to Inmetco. They are one of the only facilities in North America that recycles nickel-cadmium batteries.
Cadmium is recovered in a special furnace, where it is reduced, vaporized and condensed, producing a minimum 99.95% pure cadmium metal. This reclaimed cadmium can then be used in the production of new nickel-cadmium batteries, in the manufacture of corrosion-resistant coatings and to enhance pigmentation.

So don’t throw all that toxic, valuable material in the trash. Recycle your batteries at London Drugs. It’s well worth that little bit of extra energy.

For more information, call 1-888-224-9764 or visit www.call2recycle.ca

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!

December 20th, 2010

What do you get at the last minute for the person who has everything green?


Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate
These bars are so stylish you don’t even need to wrap them. Try the mint-filled bar for a classic festive flavour, or the 85% cocoa version for the true dark chocolate connoisseur. If you can’t decide, go for the Mini Bar Collection. One bar a month for the whole year. Or 12 hours of outright green gluttony.

Fair Trade, Organic Coffee
London Drugs has a great selection of certified brands – Saltspring, Ethical Bean, Farmers First, Kicking Horse – from decaf to high-test. Not sure what the difference is with Fair Trade? Check out our video on Ethical Bean.

Batteries Included
Whoever is on your list, chances are they have something that runs on batteries. Rechargeables are definitely the way to go. Do the math and you’ll see that they really are much cheaper than disposables (as long as you don’t accidentally dispose of them, of course) and newer technology means they last a long time and power even high-energy devices like digital cameras. Remember you can bring old rechargeables and regular alkaline cells back to us for responsible recycling.

The Tea Room Organic Green Earl Grey Tea Infused Dark Chocolate
Organic tea is nice. Organic tea-infused chocolate is luxurious. The flavour is delicate and different. Perfect for the tea-lover on your list who is probably tired of getting nothing but teas.

Que Pasa Organic Corn Tortilla Chips
Okay, this is actually more of a holiday snack idea. These Que Pasa Tortilla Chips are really good, certified organic and are cooked in non-GMO pressed canola oil. They even come in a festive red corn version that will look great on the table next to the green holly centerpiece. And what the heck – you could give them as a gift… a big crunchy gift.

Planet Earth DVD
This is an amazing 4-disc series, shot in HD, available in DVD or Blu-ray 550 minutes of some of the most amazing scenery and animals our planet has to offer, narrated by David Attenborough. It’s the green equivalent of watching football all Christmas day.

Panasonic VIERA 58-Inch 1080P Plasma TV
Perhaps not as green as a pair of organic cotton fair-trade boxer briefs, but even the most ardent environmentalist would be secretly happy to see this behemoth flat box under the tree. The Panasonic VIERA 58-Inch mercury and lead-free screen panel lasts up to 100,000 hours. (That’s 10,917 straight viewings of the entire Planet Earth DVD set) And of course, since you bought it from London Drugs, your green giftee can bring back all the packaging, including styrofoam, and even their old fat-screen for free responsible recycling. Just make sure you give them the receipt to show at customer service. You can always black out the price if you want to keep this 58″ gift discreet.

October 21st, 2009

10 Million pounds and still recycling!

When the London Drugs management team began calculating the amount of waste that has been recycled throughout the organization, we knew it would be significant. But I think we were all a little surprised at the tally to date. Let’s put this number in some perspective. 10 Million Pounds is approximately equivalent to a dozen full-loaded 747 Jumbo Jets. Or 42 Blue Whales. Or 6,215 Smart Cars.
This number represents total waste diverted from landfill and recycled with our partners over the last two years, from London Drugs stores, warehouses and customers returning packaging, electronics and appliances.
A majority of the recycled material is cardboard and wrap from our distribution centre, but this total also includes 49 tons of electronics and 3 tons of rechargeable batteries and cell phones.
So congratulations to all London Drugs customers, management, staff and recycling partners. Keep up the good work.

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