Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine


Bagging batteries in Ontario

The works department of the Regional Municipality of Durham has launched a battery recycling pilot program it says is the first of its kind in Ontario.

The works department of the Regional Municipality of Durham has launched a battery recycling pilot program it says is the first of its kind in Ontario.

Roger Anderson, chair and CEO for the Regional Municipality of Durham, says about 28 per cent of area consumers currently throw their batteries in the garbage. It’s a statistic Anderson hopes to change with a new twice-yearly pickup service called “Batteries Dead, Recycle Instead”.

“By implementing this program, we are hoping the convenience of curbside collection will encourage people to recycle their unwanted batteries and contribute towards a greener Durham,” Anderson said at a November 5, 2012 media tour of the recycling facility.

The program allows Durham residents who have curbside collection to place unwanted intact, single-use household batteries in special battery bags and leave them on top of their blue box materials.

Battery bags were delivered to residents during the week of November 5, 2012.

The first designated collection week for the spent batteries will run from November 12 to 16, 2012.

The special collection service will coincide with daylight savings time changes and reminders from local fire officials about changing batteries in household smoke detectors.

Residents will receive another battery bag prior to spring collection in March 2013, but they are also available for pick up at municipal offices and fire stations across the region.

“We know that 86 per cent of a battery is actually recyclable and recoverable,” said Nester Pidwerbecki, chair of the Durham Region Works Committee, in an announcement about the pilot program. “We want to inform residents of the benefits to recycling batteries. By recycling our unwanted batteries we are taking another step towards increasing Durham Region’s diversion rate, which is currently at an already impressive 53 per cent.”

Residents who do not receive curbside collection service from the Region of Durham, including those in apartment buildings, condominiums, or those people who miss the collection, are encouraged to visit to find the nearest battery recycling drop-off location, which can be used throughout the year.

Residents with leaking or wet cell batteries should place their batteries in a leak-proof container and deliver them to a regional waste management facility.

The Region of Durham has partnered with several organizations to provide this pilot program to residents: Stewardship Ontario is providing transportation and processing support to the battery collection pilot program; Raw Materials Company Inc., a Canadian-owned company, is providing the recycling services for the collected batteries.

Miller Waste Systems and Green for Life — the Region’s two contractors for blue box collection — are providing additional collection services in support of this recycling initiative.

Covanta Energy Corporation is providing financial support for the program’s collection tools. Local bag manufacturer Indaco is providing the battery collection bags and will be recycling the bags after they are used.

Durham’s new recycling program is part of Orange Drop, a program operated by Stewardship Ontario. For more information on this pilot program or other waste initiatives, please visit