Southern California environment news and trends

Battery companies plot national recycling program

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A tub of batteries.

Battery manufacturers Duracell, Energizer, Panasonic and Rayovac comprise the Corporation for Battery Recycling, a nonprofit group committed to creating a nationwide collection and recycling initiative for household batteries. This week, the CBR issued a call for proposals from potential business partners to help manage and facilitate the program.

"Our vision is to have an industry-led voluntary program that redefines how U.S. consumers dispose of batteries, maximizing the reuse of spent battery materials and producing zero waste to landfill," said Marc K. Boolish, president of the CBR in a statement. "We are seeking a stewardship organization with the capacity to build a national program that is convenient and inspires consumers to participate by recycling the batteries they use in a range of electronic and household devices."

Back in January of this year, the CBR opened the first two of six planned “foundation programs” (including one in Santa Clara County) to start compliing information from existing battery collectors on how to best implement the national plan. The remaining four foundation programs yet to be launched include one in San Luis Obispo County.

With communication and education a major component of the initiative, the CBR is asking that any business proposals include recommendations on how to improve the environmental impact of household batteries, based on the metrics of reducing health impact, increased ecosystem quality, global warming potential and resource depletion.

Here in California, batteries are considered hazardous materials, and should be “taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility, a universal waste handler (e.g., storage facility or broker), or an authorized recycling facility,” according to Cal Recycle. They provide a handy and comprehensive list of ways to recycle and responsibly dispose of used batteries.

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