Season to Take Back

Soon, people will begin the traditional holiday exchange of gifts, many of which will require batteries. Yet residents in New York City now will have to be mindful of what they do with those batteries once they are used. On Dec. 1, a new law went into effect that not only bans rechargeable batteries from disposal, but also requires retailers in the city that sell them to offer free take-back programs.

The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) has announced that it will provide all interested retailers with a no-cost recycling service through its Call2Recycle initiative, which already has more than 300 locations in the city. Consumers are able to drop off unwanted rechargeable batteries and cell phones at the spots.

“We look forward to expanding Call2Recycle in the New York City area and helping more local retailers institute their own free and easy-to-implement rechargeable battery recycling programs,” Ralph Millard, executive vice president of RBRC, said in a release.

Anticipating the holiday glut of wrapping paper and uneaten leftovers, New York also has partnered with the Oakland, Calif.-based Glad Products Co. to reduce waste. The company is donating 125,000 trash bags for community clean-up projects and the slogan “Glad - New York Tough. Keep NYC Clean,” will adorn the sides of 2,200 New York Sanitation Department trucks through January.

Vito Turso, New York's deputy commissioner for public information and community affairs also has issued a list of ways to reduce waste during the holidays, including giving rechargeable batteries with electronic gifts and avoiding using paper and plastic when entertaining.