Easy ways to recycle almost anything – Part 2

When it comes to recycling, after “the usual” stuff (plastic, paper, etc.), the next level gets pretty interesting and diverse. Retailers have jumped in to make it easy for consumers. Here’s another list of resources you may find useful.

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Target charged with illegal dumping of hazardous products

Target has had a preliminary injunction filed against its retail stores by the city of Los Angeles and California state prosecutors for allegedly dumping hazardous consumer products that were returned or damaged. If found guilty, the retail giant faces civil penalties.

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Target establshes in-store recycling centers in honor of Earth Day

Target logoTarget has been offering quality, discount products and providing customers a positive shopping experience since the early 1960’s, Now it’s expanded their green quotient.

On Tuesday, April 6th,  Target introduced in-store recycling centers in all their 1,740 stores. These recycling stations are located just inside, near the front of each store.

What’s unusual about this is it’s the first time a major retailer has made full-out recycling available to their “guests”.

Target’s been recycling since the early ‘60’s, says spokesperson Amy Reilly, but behind the scenes. They’ve recycled a lot of cardboard, shrink-wrap and construction materials and were one of the first retailers to reuse and recycle garment hangers.

So why include the public in their recycling efforts?

“It’s the right thing to do – and it’s a part of being part of the community,” said Reilly.

And they wanted to offer as many options as possible for their guests, she said.

Target's new recycling station offers customers new and convenient options

Target's new recycling station offers customers new and convenient options

The new recycling bins take more than just paper, plastic and cans. The row of four colored bins accept:

  • cans, glass and plastic bottles
  • plastic bags – including dry cleaning bags
  • small electronics such as MP3 players and cell phones, as well as ink cartridges and batteries
  • the fourth bin is for trash, which keeps it separate from the recycling.

Each of these attractive bins sports a graphic and clear labeling to identify what it accepts.

But Target’s recycling goes beyond customers, with recycling bins in the employee lounges as well, says Larry Karl, Floor Manager of the Redding, California store.

“It’s what the future is,” Karl said.

Target’s Redding store  has been accepting plastics for some time now, says Karl, although this hasn’t been done on a national basis. Until now, that is.

Customers have already begun using them to recycle plastics and soda cans.

The new in-store recycling centers launched as part of Target’s celebration of Earth Month in April. As part of this, Target has launched an online eco-boutique where customers can download coupons and buy any of their eco-friendly products. These include:

  • silky-soft organic cotton sheets
  • all-natural skin care products
  • household cleaners that use non-toxic chemicals (like Dr. Bronners & 7th Generation)
  • home accessories made with recycled and upcycled materials
  • certified USDA organic produce and Fair Trade coffees

Customers can also enter a month-long sweepstakes for a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. And, on April 18th, Target will give away 1.5 million reusable shopping bags made from recycled bottles. Also, that day Target will run a unique Earth Day newspaper advertising insert which folds into an envelope. Readers can use this to mail five disposable shopping bags to TerraCycle. In return, they’ll get a $1 coupon to use towards a $1.49 reusable Target tote.

Target will continue its long-held policy of giving a 5-cent discount at checkout for every reusable shopping bag shoppers bring in or use.

As for the new recycling stations, “this is not a test,” says Reilly. “It’s permanent.”

Will Target expand what they’ll accept to recycle?

Reilly says they hope to identify additional recycling opportunities.

“We believe strongly we’re a part of the community,” Reilly said. And that includes recycling.