Call2Recycle Inc., a battery stewardship and recycling organization, reported that consumers recycled a record-setting 14 million pounds of batteries and cellphones in collections throughout the U.S. and Canada in 2016. The represented a 12 percent increase in the total weight of materials collected and recycled by the organization over 2015.
It marks the 20th consecutive year of increased collections by Call2Recycle, contributing to the 129 million pounds of batteries diverted from landfills over the past 21 years.
Call2Recycle collects materials through its partnerships with retailers and municipalities. Through these partnerships, rechargeable and primary battery collections in the U.S. amounted to nearly 8 million pounds (3.6 million kilograms) last year—an 11 percent increase over 2015. Collections from public, consumer-facing networks totaled more than 4.7 million pounds of batteries, a rise of 28 percent. Collections from municipalities alone saw substantial growth of 150 percent year-to-date.
“Thanks to the support of our dedicated industry stewards and collection partners, Call2Recycle’s program has achieved unprecedented success through increasing consumer awareness,” Call2Recycle CEO Carl Smith said in a statement. “By offering a convenient, comprehensive and flexible recycling solution for both rechargeable and primary batteries, we are winning in the effort to make it easier for people to recycle their batteries throughout North America.”
The number of primary batteries collected rose 158 percent in 2016. This growth was fueled in part by legislation that led Vermont to become the first state in the U.S. requiring producers to finance a collection and recycling program for single-use (primary) batteries. As the appointed stewardship organization for Vermont, Call2Recycle provides drop-off locations for residents to recycle their batteries. As a result, more than 114,000 pounds of batteries have been collected statewide in 2016, an 187 percent increase from the previous year.
Canadian provinces with strong participation and commitment from retailers and municipalities fostered the rise of total collection results by 12 percent compared to 2015. Most notable results were in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. Quebec led the charge in battery collections with more than 2.4 million pounds collected, a nearly 20 percent increase. Manitoba also saw double digit growth over 2015, while British Colombia and Ontario each increased collections by eight percent.
“We are extremely pleased with the collection results in Canada this year,” Joe Zenobio, executive director for Call2Recycle Canada Inc. said in a statement. “This success is an affirmation that Canadians are becoming increasingly aware that batteries can and should be recycled and are doing their part by taking action. This gives us the momentum we need to make an even greater positive impact on the environment in 2017.”