August 6th, 2019

Where does your London Drugs recycling REALLY go?

For over 10 years London Drugs has helped people recycle beyond the blue box, taking back batteries, light bulbs, electronics, small appliances, Styrofoam and more right at the store. But recent news articles showing some pretty bad recycling have people wondering, what REALLY happens to their recycling?
So we created a video that takes everything you need to know about where London Drugs recycling goes, and condenses it down to 60 seconds. If you want to know more, scroll down for further details on specific recyclables and processes.

We do our homework. Taking back recycling for 80 stores is no small task. Raman Johal is the London Drugs Sustainability Specialist who helps keep it all running smoothly. Raman and the team research recycling companies, check accreditations, inspect facilities, and choose the best recycling organizations for each kind of material. Then they track every kilo of waste coming from every store. So you can be assured that anything you recycle with London Drugs is processed as responsibly as we can make it.


       Batteries: Our battery recycling is handled by Call2Recycle. All batteries are separated by chemistry (the two main types being rechargeable and single-use) and sent to the appropriate North American processor. There they are crushed and melted down in a huge electric-arc furnace. Metals recovered include nickel, cobalt, cadmium, lead, iron, copper and zinc. These are separated for re-manufacturing use in making stainless steel, rubber, paint and even… more batteries! Waste products are responsibly and safely disposed of according to industry and regulatory standards.


 

Light Bulbs: Our light bulb recycling is handled by Product Care. Lights are separated into their component parts including glass, metal and plastic. Hazardous materials such as mercury from fluorescent lights, are treated and properly disposed of.


Styrofoam: Styrofoam, or Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), is recycled at Foam Only, a dedicated EPS recycler in Coquitlam, BC. The EPS is loaded onto conveyors, sorted, and any large contamination is removed. The material then is ground and further mechanically filtered to remover smaller contamination such as sand, cardboard and tape. The ground clean material is then densified to a 90-1 ratio. One 53-foot trailer of styrofoam will be compressed to one standard pallet of raw plastic. The pallets are then loaded into a container and shipped to plastic pellet mills or extrusion companies to be made into door moldings and picture frames.


Electronics and Small Appliances: Our electronics recycling partners include eCycle Solutions and GEEP with locations in BC and Alberta. All electronics and small appliances brought to London Drugs are disassembled in Canada, broken down into plastics, metals, glass and circuit boards. Computers and data carrying devices are tracked and all hard drives and data safely destroyed. Glass, plastic and metal are recycled or sold and shipped as commodities for re-manufacturing. Circuit boards are smelted to recover precious metals.


Hard and Soft Plastics: Plastic bags and residential hard plastics are sorted and baled. All residential plastic collected in BC is processed locally by RecycleBC. Companies like Merlin Plastics handle this material, turning it into plastic pellets for manufacturing. In this type of process, bales are opened and inspected, then material is ground up and separated in huge water tanks into ‘floatable’ and ”unfloatable material. Solid plastic pieces are heated and washed to remove labels and glue, then separated once again by density in a centrifuge. This purified plastic is then extruded and made into pellets that can be used to make new plastic products.


Paper and Cardboard: London Drugs’ paper and cardboard recycling is handled by Cascades Recovery, with sorting and baling facilities in Surrey, BC. Some of this recycling is used by Cascades to produce paper products such as 100% Recycled FLUFF toilet tissue, which we sell in our stores.

The London Drugs team really appreciates all the hard work our processors do to ensure that materials are handled safely, efficiently and economically. We also thank YOU, our recycling customers, for making the extra effort to recycle it right. So if you have recycling beyond the blue box, bring it to London Drugs, and remember these 3 steps:

  1. Learn what can be recycled in your area
  2. Clean your recyclables of any contamination, and
  3. Separate your waste properly for better recycling.

Recycling it right only takes a minute.

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