NOVEMBER 2011

Household battery recycling program collects 1,800 pounds

A pilot program to recycle used household batteries has collected 1,784 pounds of used household batteries since Earth Day. Thirty-nine San Gabriel Valley area businesses, located in California, volunteered to serve as collection sites for consumers to properly dispose of household batteries. The take-back program was organized by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and funded by a $395,966 grant from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. California has prohibited trash disposal of batteries since 2006.

Part of the initial project included surveys and focus groups to reveal what consumers do with household batteries when they reach their end of life. Of San Gabriel Valley residents surveyed, 59 percent were unaware that disposing batteries in the trash violates state law, and 56 percent indicated that although they know the law they still put batteries in the trash.

Batteries accepted in this take-back project include standard AAA thru D size alkaline, and rechargeable batteries which come in five chemistries and can be found in many products including digital cameras, cordless phones, two-way radios, wireless keyboards, cordless power tools and cell phones. All household batteries under 11 pounds, alkaline and rechargeable, can be recycled at take-back locations throughout San Gabriel Valley.

Take-back locations range from car washes, grocery stores and camera stores, to hair salons and toy stores throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Some take-back sites have had huge success since April, collecting upwards of 250 pounds. The average take-back locations collected 45 pounds of batteries over a 3-month period. All locations are listed at www.sgvcog.org/batteryrecycling. Participating businesses have a large sticker in a front window to identify it as a take-back site.

Collection boxes are provided to the take-back locations by Call2Recycle®, which is a national battery stewardship organization funded by battery producers.

Residents may properly dispose of both alkaline and rechargeable batteries at HHW round-up events that happen throughout the year in the County of Los Angeles.