According to a survey conducted in Oct. 2017 by Call2Recycle, although 68 percent of Vermonters are aware household batteries can be recycled, only 53 percent have actually recycled their batteries in the past year. Furthermore, there were more than 656,000 pounds of batteries sold in Vermont in 2017, but only 135,000 pounds were collected for recycling. Call2Recycle, Inc., the state’s appointed battery stewardship program, hopes to change that number for the better. Together, with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, they have announced the inaugural Vermont Battery Collection Challenge, a collaboration with Vermont’s regional solid waste management districts and alliances. They will compete to see which can recycle the most batteries (by volume) per capita.
The challenge, which runs through Dec. 31, seeks to rally Vermont residents to recycle their batteries at drop-off locations, thus diverting them from landfills, lowering the risk for potential safety incidents, and reducing waste collection costs. The Battery Collection Challenge is intended to help close that gap by raising awareness around battery recycling and encouraging residents to do their part for the environment. In addition, according to Call2Recyle, batteries have precious metals and components that can be reused to produce new products like, pots, pans, golf clubs, sunscreen, asphalt, and of course, new batteries.
The Call2Recycle program provides convenient recycling options to Vermont communities at no charge, offering more than 200 public drop-off sites throughout the state and 98 percent of Vermonters living within 10 miles of a drop-off location. South Burlington drop off locations include the following businesses, Staples, Verizon Wireless, Bibens Ace Hardware, Lowes, the Radio North Group, Russell Supply, and the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), 87 Landfill Road and the CSWD Environmental Depot, 1011 Airport Parkway.
“The most important message we want everyone to receive is that batteries do not belong in the blue bin - or cart or dumpster - along with your regular recyclables,” said Michele Morris, director of outreach and communications at CSWD. “They must be taken to a location that accepts them for special recycling.”
Call2Recycle helps participating districts and alliances offset costs with a payment for properly collected and recycled batteries. The winning solid waste district or alliance will be announced January 2019 and will receive a trophy prize. For more information, visit www.call2recycle.org/vermont.