Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is partnering with local schools throughout the country to improve the environment in conjunction with Earth Day, April 22. Wal-Mart stores and SAM’S CLUBS will grant $1.7 million to students throughout the country to promote their environmental initiatives in local communities.
On Earth Day, April 22, associates at the company’s 3,400 Wal-Mart stores and SAM’S CLUBS nationwide are announcing names of local schools receiving an environmental grant earmarked for a project that will benefit that community. Each store and club will give away $500. Associates will have a check presentation for their local school. In addition, many stores and clubs will have their schools’ environmental projects on display.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact your local store or club for details.)
"We are proud to support the initiative of young people who are working to better our environment," said Betsy Reithemeyer, director for the Wal-Mart Foundation. Since 2000, the company has donated more than $6 million to environmental efforts. "We continue to strive to be a dedicated, active partner in the environmental efforts of our local communities."
Ongoing Recycling Programs
In addition to the check presentation and display, stores and clubs are also raising awareness for three ongoing recycling programs at their location.
- Plastic shopping-bag recycling - All Wal-Mart stores offer recycling of the familiar blue Wal-Mart shopping bags. A recycling bin is available just inside the front door of the store for customers to drop off their bags at anytime the store is open. All bags collected are used in the manufacturing of recycled products such as decking and benches. According to Reithemeyer, last year Wal-Mart stores nationwide collected more than 15.5 million pounds of plastic and more than 3 billion pounds of cardboard from their local communities through the company’s recycling program. *
- Rechargeable battery recycling - Most Wal-Mart stores will also accept rechargeable batteries for recycling including Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, Li-ion or Pb batteries - commonly found in many household items such as camcorders, power tools, cellular and cordless phones. Although these batteries can be recharged several times, eventually they will no longer hold a charge. Customers can drop used batteries at the store’s customer service desk or in a designated recycling container. Wal-Mart also recycles watch batteries in its jewelry department and used car batteries in stores that have a Tire & Lube Express department. All collected rechargeable batteries are sent by Wal-Mart to its recycling partner, Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (www.rbrc.org/consumer/), which is a non-profit public service organization created to promote the recycling of portable rechargeable batteries. Wal-Mart is a national sponsor of RBRC, added Reithemeyer. The recovered cadmium is used to make new batteries, while the nickel and iron are used to make stainless steel products. Last year, Wal-Mart recycled 18 million batteries and 25 million single-use cameras.
- Fluorescent bulb recycling - Wal-Mart is in the process of re-lamping its discount stores nationwide, switching from T-12 bulbs to more energy efficient, low-mercury T-8 bulbs, which are also easier to recycle and handle. Reithemeyer explained that all Wal-Mart stores and SAM’S CLUBS recycle its stores’ used and broken fluorescent bulbs through the company’s internal bulb recycling program.
"Each of these programs has helped our local communities by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills," said Reithemeyer.
About Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
With annual sales of $244.5 billion, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates more than 2,870 discount stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, and more than 520 SAM’S CLUBS in the United States. Internationally, the company operates about 1,275 units. Wal-Mart employs over 1.3 million associates worldwide. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. Last year, Wal-Mart associates raised and contributed more than $200 million to support communities and local non-profit organizations. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has received the 2002 Fortune magazine No. 1 Most Admired Company in the U.S., along with receiving the 2002 Ron Brown Award, the highest Presidential Award recognizing outstanding achievement in employee relations and community initiatives.
More information about Wal-Mart can be located on-line at www.walmartstores.com and www.walmart.com. The SAM’S CLUB Web site can be accessed at www.samsclub.com. And more information about Wal-Mart’s Good. Works. community involvement is available online at at www.walmartfoundation.com.