Borders' closing of Waldenbooks stores may result in thousands of books ending up in the dumpster.
In response to 'Big Box Waste and What We Can Do About It', tipster Heather L. let us know about another shameful case of corporate waste from Borders, who owns the chain Waldenbooks. Waldenbooks is closing its 200 locations at the end of this month, and employees are saying that the company plans to destroy and trash any books that they can't liquidate.
"Contrast H&M’s quick reaction and public promise to donate unsold merchandise to that of Borders, who were recently outed by their own employees as planning to trash tens of thousands of unsold books after 200 Waldenbooks locations shut down by the end of January.
"After more than a month, Borders is still dragging its feet, trying to stonewall the issue until the store closings are over, and refusing to pledge to donate any of the books scheduled to be destroyed. In fact, contrary to their public statements, they've instructed their employees to keep trashing books, but to hide the evidence by shipping the books and their torn off covers back to distribution centers in separate boxes, away from prying eyes who might find the evidence in store dumpsters! Shocking, right?"
The company's response to letters begging them to recycle the books is that they are using a third party company to liquidate and "do not expect to have any remaining product to donate" once that's done. I don't know about you guys, but I don't buy it. No books left? At all? Even if each store trashed only ten books, that's thousands of perfectly usable books that could have gone to schools or libraries!
If you want to give Borders a piece of your mind, you might write a letter to Borders or try contacting Great American Group, LLC, the company they've hired to liquidate. We could take a page from the H&M scandal and leave comments on Borders' Facebook page. You can also show your support by joining the Facebook fanpage that's dedicated to the cause.
This attitude that destroying usable goods is even an option just kills me. We live in such a disposable society, and that mindset is just not sustainable. Duane, who commented on the post about H&M and Wal-Mart's policies really hit it on the head:
"If we don’t change consumeristic disposable wasteful ways as a society soon many people are going to suffer some serious consequences. Including the Corporations who are the worst offenders."
Trashing books is apparently not a policy unique to Borders. The photo at the top of this post is of a dumpster behind the Strand bookstore in Union Square. These books haven't been destroyed, but whatever the dumpster diver in the photo doesn't take are certainly headed to the landfill.