March 25th, 2018

10 years of recycling – What does 113 Million pounds of recycling look like?

10 years of London Drugs Recycling

2017 marks our 10th year of tracking our recycling by store, diversion rate and materials. So here are some of the highlights from the year and the decade. It’s a record of which all our employees and recycling customers can be extremely proud.

So how much IS 113 million pounds?

The weight of 50 Olympic Sized Swimming Pools 1
Enough to fill a 12 kilometer freight train 2
Two full container ships3

Any way you look at it, it’s a lot! So what did that decade of recycling include?

  • 492,000lbs of styrofoam
  • 714,000 lbs of batteries
  • 870,000 lbs of computers

All recycled responsibly, thanks to our recycling customers, hard-working employees and recycling partners – you are the REAL Green Deal!

  • Awards and recognition over the past 10 years:
  • 2008 Recycling Council of BC Private Sector Recognition Award
  • 2010 Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Corporate Leadership Award
  • 2011 Recycling Council of Alberta Corporate Leadership Award
  • 2012 – Finalist, Canada’s Greenest Retail Practices Award, GLOBE
  • 2012 – BC Hydro Powersmart Excellence Award
  • 2012 – Retail Council of Canada Best Corporate & Social Responsibility
  • 2012 Call2Recycle Leader in Sustainability Award
  • 2013 – Airdrie Eco Edge Award
  • 2013 – Canadian Stewardship Award
  • 2013 – Alberta Environment Emerald Award
  • 2016 – Quest Food Exchange, Most Valuable Partner
  • 2017 – Surrey City Awards, Green City Category
  • 2018 – City of Vancouver Award of Excellence, Greenest City Leadership
  • 2018 –  Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council, Waste Minimization, Corporation

2017 Stats at a glance

Average London Drugs waste diversion rate, all stores and warehouse: 93.9%
+1.1% over 2016 Diversion Rate

We continue to work with individual stores to improve recycling, and find solutions for new materials, such as wooden pallets, which we now recycle. Our top stores go above and beyond, sorting their garbage, and have been able to completely remove their bulk waste bins. More than half of London Drugs stores are over our goal of 95% diversion.
Best single London Drugs store recycling – St. Albert Alberta, with a 99.97% waste diversion rate!

In 2017 we recycled:

3711 lbs of cell phones – That’s about the weight of a fully grown White Rhino, and an increase of 32% over 2016
42,155 lbs of fluorescent lights – Keeping dangerous toxins like mercury out of our landfills – a 9% increase over 2016 Recycling Partner LightRecycle
122,780 lbs of batteries – Thats weight equivalent to 2.3 MILLION AA size batteries, and a 5% increase over 2016 Recycling Partner: Call2Recycle
370,751 lbs of computers and electronics – That’s equivalent to about 5300 old style 27” TVs, and a 10,000 lb increase over 2016

Since 2006 we have been reducing plastic bag use through education and reusable alternatives. In 2018 we introduced a 5¢ Bag Reduction Fee to help reduce bag use even further.

We share this success with customers who bring recycling to our stores, employees who track every piece of waste and anyone who brings back their packaging to their local London Drugs.
Together we can make a real difference in waste reduction.

The Math

1 The weight of an Olympic swimming pool, filled waist deep, is estimated at 220,000lbs Austin Bugden, Engineering Technologist
2 Average weight of freight in a Canadian rail car: 83.5 tons Based on average of 88 60-foot freight cars per mile 113,000,000 lbs / 167,0000 lbs per car / 88 cars per mile x 1.6 = a freight train of approximately 12.3 km
3 Because of the wide variety of cargo, there is no ‘average‘ freighter ship. But Ed Enos, State & USCG licensed Harbor Pilot, estimated that if a 700-foot ship carries 1000 containers, each holding 25 tons of goods, the payload for one such vessel would be 25000 tons, or 50,000,000 pounds.

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