In August 2012, the Walmart Foundation gave a $465,000 grant to The Arc, a community-based nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of, and serves, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). With that money,  The Arc launched the eXplore eRecycling initiative, an effort that includes chapters across the country. It involves collaborating with experts in the employment disability and e-recycling fields to develop or enhance existing e-recycling programs, while offering employment opportunities to those with I/DD.

As part of the eXplore eRecycling initiative, 10 sub-grantees were awarded money to start or expand their own electronic waste program to train Arc beneficiaries to work in the field and to also divert e-waste from the chapters that were awarded grants. As of November 1, 2012, those chapters have employed 31 people with I/DD and trained 49 people in e-recycling operations. The programs have also successfully diverted 631 tons of e-waste as of that date.

This progress is a testament to the Arc’s commitment to not only practicing sustainability within its local chapters, but also in training a new generation — and more specifically a unique set of employees — in the skills that can help move these efforts forward. It’s an effort that Walmart is proud to support, and one we hope to continue to support in the future. Working with nonprofits to help them achieve their various goals is always a gratifying experience — and if we can encourage environmental practices and expand knowledge of sustainability, that’s even better.

Does your household participate in e-recycling efforts?