battery recycling made easier in California
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Resources
Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), the San Gabriel Valley Council
of Governments (SGVCOG) is making it easier for consumers to
recycle household batteries. Since 2006, the State of California
has banned disposal of these types of batteries in the trash.
The SGVCOG is creating a program for consumers to support proper
battery recycling and management by providing convenient drop-off
locations throughout the San Gabriel Valley.
In preparation for the launch of a pilot battery take-back program,
SGVCOG conducted focus groups and phone survey research of San
Gabriel Valley residents in 2010 that revealed more people would
recycle household hazardous materials if recycling were more
convenient. Research findings include:
- Only 59 percent of those surveyed were aware of the battery
- 56 percent of respondents still dispose of batteries in
- Residents stated that they continued to dispose of batteries
in the trash despite knowing about the disposal ban because recycling
was so inconvenient.
Since the current system was clearly not working, the residents
were surveyed on possible alternatives and 85 percent indicated
that they are likely to participate in a retailer take-back program
for used batteries and lamps, which led the SGVCOG to develop
a take-back program.
The SGVCOG pilot battery take-back program will provide convenient
drop off locations for consumers in the San Gabriel Valley by
partnering with local businesses to provide collection services.
Participating businesses display an identifying sticker in their
window and place a collection box, provided by SGVCOG, within
their store where consumers can properly dispose of non-working
batteries. This program is the first to collaborate with local
retailers in the area and identify best practices that other
local governments can implement.
The collection sites range from grocery stores to camera shops
throughout the San Gabriel Valley.