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SEARS ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT -- STARTED IN TIRE, BATTERY RECYCLING 30 YEARS AGO; NOW STUDYING, TESTING OTHER INITIATIVES

SEARS ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT -- STARTED IN TIRE, BATTERY RECYCLING
 30 YEARS AGO; NOW STUDYING, TESTING OTHER INITIATIVES
 CHICAGO, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The new packaging program announced today by Sears, Roebuck and Co. is part of the retailer's long-time environmental commitment that started over three decades ago in its auto centers and today includes a number of other waste reduction and recycling measures. The company also said it is studying other environmental initiatives by further implementing the three Rs of packaging reduction -- to reduce, reuse and recycle.
 Sears started recycling DieHard battery cases and automobile tires in 1959. In 1967, Sears introduced a DieHard battery made of material that is 100 percent recyclable. Sears collects batteries exchanged by its customers and recycles those that by design are recyclable.
 Additionally, lead in today's DieHard batteries is manufactured with about 60 percent recycled lead and their polypropylene cases contain about 50 percent recycled materials from scrap batteries.
 Sears estimates that its tire program with Chicago-based Lakin General Corp. recycles more than one million tires annually that are chipped and used as fuel for industrial boilers or used as crum rubber for various automotive parts.
 Sears also captures and recycles freon coolant from car air conditioners which contains ozone-harmful chloro-fluoro-carbons (CFCs) at about 440 Sears Auto and Tire Centers around the country. Sears started the program at 200 stores in April 1990.
 In 1981, Sears began recycling used motor oil collected from oil changes at Sears Auto and Tire Centers around the country. Today, many Sears auto centers accept uncontaminated motor oil from customers on a walk-in basis. Sears is developing plans to expand this program to all full-service auto centers by the end of 1993.
 For several years, Sears has been collecting for recycling about 159,000 tons of corrugated shipping containers annually at about 800 store receiving docks. When flattened and stacked on top of each other, the boxes would be two and one-half times the height of Sears Tower.
 In September, the Sears Merchandise Group began a program that uses 100 percent recycled paper for all carbonless business forms, stationery and business cards.
 When the merchandise group's headquarters moves to Hoffman Estates, Ill., in late 1992, all paper and metal used at the offices will be collected for recycling. Currently, Sears recycles about 70 percent of all solid waste generated in its Sears Tower headquarters.
 Sears said discussions continue with several companies to develop a program to recycle its catalogs. Sears also is assessing the feasibility of using paper from recycled catalogs for various supplies used to conduct its business.
 Additionally, Sears is testing recycling initiatives for plastic hangers, polyethylene garment bags, shrink wrap, and shopping bags. Sears also is testing the ability to print its newspaper advertising inserts on recycled newsprint. If the tests are successful, Sears will develop programs for recycling these items into other end-use products where possible as well as back into packaging or paper materials.
 -0- 11/13/91
 /CONTACT: Gerald E. Buldak, 312-875-8371, or Perry D. Chlan, 312-875-7079, both of Sears/
 (S) CO: Sears, Roebuck & Co. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU: KD -- NY040 -- 3901 11/13/91 11:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 13, 1991
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