Call2Recycle expands program into Ontario households

Responding to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s efforts to implement the province’s Waste Diversion Act, the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation of Canada (RBRCC) has proposed to expand its decade-long, free recycling program, Call2Recycle, by becoming an official industry program for all household batteries.

The Minister’s directive will result in the first mandated all-battery collection and recycling program in North America, serving as a model for future industry stewardship programs in the province and beyond.

“We echo and applaud the Ministry of the Environment’s goal of attaining ‘zero waste’ in Ontario. In addition to lessening the negative environmental impacts of waste, this movement reinforces the benefits – and responsibility – of reusing what we produce and consume,” said Carl Smith, chairman, RBRCC. “More than 685,000 kilograms of rechargeable batteries have been recycled in Ontario over the past decade through Call2Recycle. By recovering resources from used batteries, we are taking one small step in helping the Minister achieve this goal.”

By expanding the Call2Recycle program, the battery industry would be the first industry in Ontario to be recognized as meeting Ontario’s emerging waste management and resource recovery plans. Call2Recycle’s industry stewardship plan (ISP) was submitted on behalf of battery stewards that sell into Ontario and responds to the provincial call-to-action by proposing to assume responsibility for all battery collections. Expansion would be seamless and would continue to be free to consumers and collection locations, as Call2Recycle’s infrastructure – existing collection sites, service chain providers and relationships in the marketplace – can be leveraged to swiftly and efficiently accommodate the collection of all household batteries.

The expanded program could begin as early as January 1, 2010. The ISP documents strategies to collect and recycle more than 10 million kilograms of batteries in the province over five years.

An advisory committee will be established to guide the ISP toward its expansion objectives and ensure continued success. Toronto-based RBRCC will employ local partners to handle its sorting and processing needs.