On February 24, 2010,Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) will look at whether a longstanding and successful industry-sponsored recycling program will be selected to recycle household batteries in Ontario effective July 1, 2010 under the Province’s Waste Diversion Act.
WDO’s decision will financially and operationally affect retailers, businesses, municipalities and manufacturers operating in the province.
Currently, Call2Recycle is the only free rechargeable battery and cell phone collection program in North America.
The WDO has approved a separate battery plan under Stewardship Ontario. Call2Recycle could run a parallel program if the WDO approves it. Battery makers could sign on to either program.
In a recent Toronto Star article, Call2Recycle’s President and CEO Carl Smith said that Stewardship Ontario’s plan would add 10 cents to the cost of each AA or AAA battery, compared to a penny under Call2Recycle’s program.
Whatever happens to Call2Recycle’s program will ultimately have an impact on what Ontarians pay for batteries and how much attention is devoted to recycling them, the article said.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, Call2Recycle recently announced 6.9 per cent in overall collections, driven by major national retailers, municipalities and communities with a strong presence in the United States and Canada.
Call2Recycle collected 6.1 million pounds (2.8 million kilograms) of rechargeable batteries in 2009.
The rise in battery collections is attributed to increased efforts by major retailers, including The Home Depot, Apple Computer, RadioShack, Lowe’s, Interstate All Battery Center and RONA.
Together, these organizations collected 20 per cent more batteries for recycling in 2009 than in 2008.
“Despite last year’s lower sales of batteries and the products that use them, we’re recycling more batteries than ever thanks to retailers that have embraced their role as environmental stewards,” Smith said.
“By using our recycling program to divert millions of pounds of solid waste from local landfills, businesses and consumers alike are making a statement that environmental sustainability is a priority, regardless of the economy,” he added.
Rechargeable batteries are the power source in numerous electronic devices, including cell phones, digital cameras, laptops, power tools and more. A typical rechargeable battery is an eco-friendly power choice that can be recharged up to 1,000 times, but once they lose their charge, they should be recycled.
Learn more at call2recycle.ca or 1-877-2-RECYCLE.