Total Macy’s, Inc. Solar Electricity Production on 02/20/2018

4,981 YTD

4,084 YTD

$550,900 YTD

9,065,447 YTD

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The Nuts and Bolts of In-Store Recycling at Macy’s – Stores and Distribution Centers

POSTED UNDER Recycling & Waste Reduction

What We Recycle

We recycle quite a bit in our stores – more than you might think. Of course we recycle paper and cardboard, and while we’ve reduced the amount of both we use (and have worked extensively with our vendors to cut the amount of packaging for goods we sell), these are still among the highest volume items we recycle.

We also recycle things that can’t normally go in your curbside recycling bin – and some items are pretty surprising.  Did you realize we recycle plastic bags and shrink wrap?  And not only from items in our stores – we even accept and recycle plastic bags brought in by our customers. We also recycle black plastic hangers – and the black hangers in our stores now are made of recycled material, too. Even rechargeable batteries and fluorescent lamps get recycled.

Some other items we’re able to recycle are a little more extreme. You probably didn’t know, for example, that thanks to some creative thinking from our Vertical Transportation team, we’re actually able to recycle the heavy steel cables from in-store escalators. Store fixtures are recycled as well – in fact, we repurpose them whenever we can, utilizing them in different locations throughout our network of stores. These items include showcases, chrome pieces, tables, vendor shop fixtures and other store equipment.

Where It Goes

Do you wonder what happens to our recyclables once they leave the store and are transported to our distribution centers? Our New York Go Green ERG and MMG Green Team got a chance to find out when they took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Macy’s Logistics distribution center in Secaucus, New Jersey. They learned what happens to our recyclables, plus a whole lot more.

Upon arriving at our distribution centers, the recyclables are grouped into categories and shipped to an appropriate recycling facility.  There was a huge amount of material being recycled when our team was there, and the thing that was most surprising to them was the amount and weight of the bales of cardboard – approximately 2,000 pounds each, which “really shows how much merchandise we go through in a day,” according to our ERG/Green Team.  This also illustrates how important it is to partner with our vendors to reduce packaging and use fewer resources in delivering products to stores and our customers.

In addition to these recyclable materials, our distribution centers also receive items that have been returned to stores but are not resellable. Some are sold on secondary markets, which focus on finding channels for goods that might otherwise end up in landfills. Several Macy’s vendors, including North Face and Eileen Fisher, have their own product take back programs, and request their items be returned to them for resale, refurbishment or recycling.

So the next time you toss out an aluminum can or a cardboard box, think about where it’s going. And remember we’re constantly seeking new ways to recycle, reduce waste and find solutions that keep material out of our landfills.


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