North American Battery Recycling Reaches New Collection Heights

A record 7.3 million pounds (3.3 kilograms) of single-use and rechargeable batteries recycled at the mid-year mark, an increase of 20 percent compared to the same time period last year, reports Call2Recycle, Inc., the first and largest consumer battery stewardship organization serving the US and Canada. This achievement contributes to the more than 115 million pounds (52 million kilograms) of batteries diverted from US and Canadian landfills and responsibly recycled by the organization over the past 20 years.

In the US, retailers and municipalities contributed to the strong growth in battery collections, up 17 percent and 147 percent respectively this year, resulting in almost 2.4 million pounds (1.1 million kilograms) accumulated. This success can be partially attributed to Vermont becoming the first state in the US requiring producers to finance a collection and recycling program for single-use (primary) batteries. As the appointed stewardship organization, Call2Recycle provides convenient drop-off locations for residents to responsibly recycle their batteries. As a result, more than 54,000 pounds (24,000 kilograms) of batteries have been collected in Vermont since the program launched in January, more than what was collected in the State in all of 2015.

“Cultivating educated consumers and committed partners is vital to driving battery collection growth across North America,” said Carl Smith, CEO & President of Call2Recycle, Inc. “We’re rapidly expanding our reach with municipalities, retailers, and other consumer-facing collection sites to make battery recycling more accessible and convenient for all.”

In Canada, collections rose 24 percent compared to last year, resulting in 3.2 million pounds (1.4 million kilograms) recycled year-to-date. Quebec leads the charge on recycling, collecting more than 1.3 million pounds (600,000 kilograms). Battery collections in Manitoba also saw a significant increase in collections, up 52 percent from last year, as did all other provinces (including British Columbia and Ontario) which recorded double-digit growth. As the result of dedicated consumer-focused campaigns, publicly accessible channels – municipalities (up 40 percent) and retailers (up 16 percent) across Canada – also contributed to the growth.

“We are encouraged to see such positive battery recycling growth across Canada from all channels,” said Joe Zenobio, Executive Director of Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. “This is a direct result of the continued commitment from our stewards, collection sites and the public – all working together to make a positive environmental impact.”