Total Macy’s, Inc. Solar Electricity Production on 04/25/2018

15,444 YTD

12,664 YTD

$1,708,106 YTD

28,108,068 YTD

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Five Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle and How

POSTED UNDER Recycling & Waste Reduction

What You Can Do to Reduce Waste in Landfills

At Macy’s, Inc. we recycle a lot. Most Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores and distribution/fulfillment centers recycle cardboard, shrink wrap, black plastic hangers, office paper and gift cards. We also recycle items such as rechargeable batteries, fluorescent lamps, steel cables from in-store escalators and store fixtures. We even have recycling bins for customers in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores around New York City to further divert waste from landfills and conserve resources.

With all of these sustainability efforts observed at work, many Associates ask, “What can I do to live greener, too?” When you can’t reuse or upcycle items yourself, recycling is the next best option. While some things aren’t accepted via your curbside community recycling bin, with a few extra steps, you might be surprised how many things can actually be recycled. Discover five common items that can be easily recycled, and learn how to keep them out of landfills and help protect our environment.

1. Eyeglasses – If your eyeglasses break or you upgrade to new ones, recycle your old pair. Your local optometrist will likely be able to help you find a recycling location. The service organization, Lions Club International, has collection boxes in many communities, or you can mail glasses directly to the organization. Likewise, OneSight, a nonprofit for vision care, accepts eyewear donations to be responsibly recycled. Small quantities of eyewear can be dropped off at LensCrafters locations – many are located within Macy’s stores.

2. Plastic grocery bags and bubble wrap – You might be surprised to know that plastic bags typically aren’t accepted by community recycling programs. However, Macy’s, along with many grocery stores, will take back disposable plastic bags and bubble wrap to recycle. In addition, Macy’s has made all of its shopping bags with 60 percent post-consumer content and the bags are totally recyclable.

3. Disposable razors – Many local recycling centers accept the steel blades, but most standard disposable razors aren’t recyclable and go straight to landfills. To prevent waste in the first place, your best bet is to invest in a longer-lasting razor. Another option is to use Preserve® brand razors that are made from recycled materials. Once your razor is dull, you can drop it off or mail it back to be recycled through its Gimme 5 program.

4. Electronic waste – This is a fairly new category of items that can be recycled. Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, includes items such as smartphones, servers, laptops and tablets. Recycling these items is important because they are often made with valuable materials, such as copper, silver, plastics and aluminum. Unfortunately, they also can contain toxic materials, such as mercury, lead, lithium and hazardous flame retardants, so recycling them protects the environment and public health. As a group, Cincinnati Macy’s Associates volunteered at a local electronic recycling drive. Individually, you can visit a Staples store, Best Buy location or find a certified e-Stewards recycler near you to drop off your old electronic items.

5. Sneakers – The Nike Reuse-a-Shoe and Nike Grind Programs collect worn-out shoes in its stores and factory outlets and repurpose them into sports courts, tracks, playgrounds and other products. Macy's Cincinnati corporate offices have held several shoe collection events for this program in the past. Visit the program site to learn about donating shoes or setting up an event at your office or store.

These aren’t the only unusual items you can recycle. The website Earth911® maintains “one of North America's most extensive recycling databases” with more than 350 materials and 100,000+ listings. Try the Earth911 Recycling Search Tool to discover what else you can recycle and keep out of landfills.

What’s the most unusual item you’ve recycled? Tell us about it.


You also might like:

Recycling 911: Find Out What You Can (and Can’t) Recycle
America Recycles Day: Reflecting on Recycling
Nine Green Mistakes You Are Probably Making

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