At Wal-Mart's Plano store, spring planting outside the store brings colorful mulch with an unexpected past. The mulch was once an old, used tire in Wal-Mart's Tire & Lube Express.
Wal-Mart, teaming up with Quest Recycling, is avoiding landfills at all costs and is turning those old tires into usable mulch.
"If you could imagine what a million tires looks like in a landfill, it is acres upon acres of space," said Brian Dick, CEO of Frisco-based Quest Recycling.
"The process is simple," said Dick. "You come into a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club to the Tire & Lube Express. Your tire comes off your car and that's probably the last time you think about it."
Wal-Mart stores the tires in an environmental cage until picked up by Quest. From there, Quest recycles the tires and makes mulch, so durable it has a 10-year color warranty.
"It is true, closed-loop recycling and it is really making a large impact on the United States right now," said Dick.
Quest also recycles Wal-Mart's motor oils and oil filters.
Customers like Debbie Westbrook said they appreciate the retail giant's efforts to go green.
"It makes me feel good in my heart to know that the products that I'm buying ... when I'm done with them, I can take them back to be recycled for another person to use them," said Westbrook. "That is an absolutely phenomenal feeling."
Wal-Mart and Sam's Club produced enough rubber mulch in 2008 to fill 36 football stadiums at a 3-foot depth.