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Home Depot launches national CFL recycling initiative

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has launched a national consumer compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb recycling program. This free service, available at all 1,973 Home Depot locations, is by far the largest of its kind by a retailer in the United States. Home Depot Canada launched a CFL recycling program in November 2007, and IKEA offers a similar program in its stores.

Under the initiative, customers can bring expired, unbroken CFL bulbs to any Home Depot location and give them to the store associate behind the returns desk. The bulbs will then be managed by an environmental management company that will coordinate CFL packaging, transportation and recycling to maximize safety and ensure environmental compliance.

CFLs are hailed for their dramatic energy conservation properties but contain small amounts of mercury that require special disposal methods.

“The CFL recycling program is another example of how the Home Depot is empowering customers to help make a difference in their own homes and have less of an impact on the environment,” said Ron Jarvis, Home Depot’s senior vp-environmental innovation.”

(To listen to a recent podcast with Jarvis, click here.)

“With more than 75 percent of households located within 10 miles of a Home Depot store, this program is the first national solution to providing Americans with a convenient way to recycle CFLs.” Jarvis added.

In addition to the CFL recycling program, Home Depot has also launched an in-store energy conservation program to switch light fixture showrooms in U.S. stores from incandescent bulbs to CFLs by fall 2008. The company, which sold more than 75 million CFLs in 2007, said this would save $16 million annually in energy costs.

The CFL recycling program is an extension of Home Depot’s Eco Options program. Eco Options, launched in April 2007, is a classification that allows customers to easily identify products that have less of an impact on the environment.

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NAHB urges Congress to pass housing stimulus bill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Trying to spur Congress into action on housing stimulus legislation before its July 4 recess, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has placed “An Open Letter to Congress” ad in The Washington Post and USA Today, as well as two of the most widely read publications on Capitol Hill, Roll Call and Politico.

Under the headline “A Time for Leadership,” NAHB president and West Virginia home builder Sandra Dunn writes, “The landmark housing stimulus legislation now before both the House and Senate would help end the downward housing spiral that is the biggest threat to the health of our economy.”

Acentral component of this legislation is a temporary home buyer tax credit to stimulate home purchases by qualified first-time buyers, which the NAHB believes would help reduce excess supply in housing markets.

“Housing is in the grips of the most crippling downturn since the Great Depression, consumer confidence has plunged, economic growth has slowed to a crawl and unemployment lines are growing longer,” the letter continues. “This is not the time for demagoguery or partisanship. It is the time for flexibility and compromise. It is the time for action.”

NAHB executive vp and CEO Jerry Howard called the temporary home buyer tax credit “the best stimulative measure — it will get buyers off the fence, shore up home prices and halt the downward spiral in the housing market.”

This legislation also includes several other provisions to help revive housing and the economy, including the following: FHA modernization; reform of housing government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; expansion of the mortgage revenue bond program; and enhancement of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to help spur production of much needed affordable rental housing.

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Wolseley opens green building showcase in United Kingdom

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In an effort to accelerate the United Kingdom’s move into green construction, Wolseley has opened a 6,800-square-foot showcase to display 170 types of products including photovoltaics, micro-wind, sedum roof; e-glazing, natural lighting and insulation; green flooring coverings; combines heat and power; rainwater harvesting; biomass; ground source heat pump; engineered timber; low energy lighting; water saving devices; solar thermal; and sustainable drainage.

Built at the company’s 18-acre site in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, England, at a cost of $3.2 million pounds, the building is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. Products featured in the two-story building are currently available through Wolseley’s 1,800 branch network in the U.K. Specially trained staff is on hand to provide visitors with information and guidance on appropriate materials for specific projects, from single-family homes to large-scale commercial developments.

Wolseley is one of the world’s largest distributors of building materials, with operations in 27 countries throughout Europe and North America. In the United States, Stock Building Supply and Ferguson are part of Wolseley North America.

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