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Staples launches battery recycling program – with a twist

Staples is recycling customer batteries.

Staples Retail stores across the U.S. are rolling out what the company says is the first-ever at-home battery recycling program.

In an email to Chain Store Age, a Staples spokesperson said the program, timed to coincide with Earth Month in April, is designed to help prevent nearly 3 billion batteries from entering landfills each year. 

Leveraging consumer recycling behavior research with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and partnering with battery recyclers Call2Recycle and ERI, Staples is providing what it says is a first-of-its-kind free battery recycling box (while supplies last) that enables consumers to collect their batteries at home and return them to Staples stores to be recycled for free.  

At Staples test stores, the retailer reports its battery recycling program has increased battery recycling rates from less than 50 batteries per week to thousands of recycled batteries per week at each store.  

The at-home battery recycling box contains instructions for how consumers can safely store their used and old batteries. When full, consumers can take their box back to their local Staples store for their batteries to be recycled. 

Once consumers return their at-home battery recycling box to their local Staples store, the retailer’s recycling partner ERI will recycle the batteries and provide all the precious metals and materials back into the circular market for reuse. 

"The Staples battery recycling program provides a safe and convenient way for customers to dispose of their used batteries for free," the spokesperson said in the email. "By utilizing these collection boxes, customers contribute significantly to environmental conservation, resource preservation, and the promotion of sustainable battery production and disposal practices."

Staples is no stranger to recycling and sustainability efforts. As far back as 2014, the office supply giant began offering a technology recycling service in partnership with ERI that allows businesses of all sizes to recycle large volumes of electronics in a secure manner.

Staples has also has been working with sustainable packaging company Packsize to reduce the amount of packaging material in its supply chain for more than a decade, with plans to expand the program this year.

Headquartered in Framingham, Mass., Staples U.S. Retail operates nearly 1,000 stores, with a Staples retail store located within 10 miles of more than half of the U.S. population.

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