Walmart Sustainability

We collected just over 70 tons of electronics at five

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Unformatted text preview: ycling take-back programs for electronics, but the return centers did not have adequate space and labor to deal with even small recycling volumes. The next attempt was focused on Walmart’s “Box Program,” run in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, HP, and Noranda Recycling. This program offered store customers postage-paid boxes to package and ship their used electronics for recycling. The boxes (including postage) sold for approximately $15roughly 35 to 50 percent of the actual cost. Unfortunately, even in affluent geographic areas, customers appeared unwilling to pay to participate in the program. Walmart then sponsored a series of electronics recycling days at stores across the country. “We collected just over 70 tons of electronics at five events in September 2006,” said Jenni Dinger, a Walmart music buyer and leader of the e-waste sub-team. However, even with the continued participation of HP and Noranda, the events were costly and there was no measurable connection between customer participation and increased in-store sales. Even when Walmart marketed a “green laptop” that included a recycling kit with every purchase (similar to the box program above, but at no extra charge), customers generally were unresponsive. “I think that program has had a 1 percent participation rate, and we couldn't imagine making it any simpler than that,” said Dinger. “We still haven’t figured out how to change people’s behavior.” She continued, “We’ll proceed with some take-back programs but, because they’re so expensive, they’ll have to be relatively sporadic.” Legislation As of 2006, the U.S. had no federal electronics regulation, but states were taking action, with 19 bills in play in eight states and at least three states with e-waste laws. However, each state was implementing a different policy. For example, California required retailers to collect a $6 to $10 fee when selling any laptop, monitor, television, or similar “covered” electronic device, used to certify and compensate other firms...
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2014 for the course LGST 210 taught by Professor Sep during the Winter '10 term at UPenn.

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