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Target Recycling Dropoff 

  Target is one bookend on the row of big-box retailers and their sprawling parking lots that line Metairie's Veterans Memorial Boulevard. It's the kind of place where shoppers might load up their sport utility vehicles with plastic bags carrying everything from groceries to new shoes. It's also the only place in the greater New Orleans area that recycles glass. Private companies like SDT Waste & Debris and Phoenix Recycling have slowly reinstated recycling services post-Hurricane Katrina, but none accept glass. Target stores around the country, including the Metairie location (4500 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-2184; www.target.com), however, accept and recycle shoppers' used glass bottles as well as cans, plastic bags and bottles, MP3 players, ink cartridges and cell phones. The in-store recycling program is part of Target's larger waste-reducing initiative, which also includes streamlining product packaging, selling reusable bags, minimizing and recycling operational trash and donating unsold merchandise to community organizations. The store also reuses garment hangers, sells organic foods and other products and uses energy-efficient light fixtures and faucets in the store. Yet, searching "plastic" on Target's website yields 2,667 items, and employees at the store's cash register rarely, if ever, offer reusable bags; they might even use a plastic shopping bag to hold a single tube of mascara or package of breath mints. Perhaps the corporation's pro-green values haven't trickled down to all its employees, but since Target is among the most comprehensive recycling services in the city, it might be time to think inside the (big) box. — Lauren LaBorde

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