San Gabriel Valley Area Project Collects 7,809 Pounds of Batteries for Safe Disposal
Project to share its lessons for national battery recycling campaign
ALHAMBRA, Calif., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A battery-recycling project funded by a grant from CalRecycle and executed in partnership with local businesses and Call2Recycle has collected more than 7,800 pounds – or nearly four tons – of batteries since January 2011. Over the duration of the project, which was organized by San Gabriel Council of Governments (SGVCOG), 40 local businesses served as battery take-back sites for communities across the San Gabriel Valley. Although the grant ends on March 31st, Call2Recycle and the SGVCOG will continue to support these businesses in order to allow them to remain battery take-back sites; Call2Recycle will provide the collection boxes, shipping expenses, and recycling at no cost to the sites, and the SGVCOG providing technical assistance to the sites as well as promote awareness of the sites to residents.
The San Gabriel Valley's pilot battery recycling initiative has set a precedent for producer responsibility and battery recycling on a national scale and thanks to partners, will continue for the foreseeable future. "This project has heightened product end-of-life awareness and given our communities lasting resources," said Nick Conway, Executive Director of the SGVCOG. "We look forward to partnering with battery producers to develop long-term end-of-life management options for batteries in the future."
Project findings provide useful data to inform the national efforts to develop a producer-funded alkaline battery-recycling program. In 2010, this project conducted focus groups to determine public awareness in the San Gabriel Valley regarding hazardous waste product disposal and California law. Findings indicated that 59 percent of those surveyed were aware of the disposal ban on batteries – but 56 percent still threw them in the trash.
"We wanted to inform the community as to why throwing products like batteries and fluorescent lamps in the trash is illegal in addition to providing them with convenient recycling opportunities," said Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), the major project partner supporting the SGVCOG. "We are truly impressed by the response from community, business and city leaders."
Communities throughout the San Gabriel Valley have played key roles; leaders have championed the project and participated in press events and awards ceremonies and eight cities have adopted resolutions and purchasing policies that support producer responsibility. However, the real key to the project's success are the 40 local businesses that serve as take-back location as well as the public that participated and brought their batteries to these collection sites. This approach rewards the sites for their commitment to environmental stewardship-- a "vote with your dollars" free market approach.
Household batteries and fluorescent lamps, which contain mercury, were banned from trash disposal in 2006. All household batteries under 11 pounds, both alkaline and rechargeable, can be recycled at any of the 40 take-back locations throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Batteries accepted include standard AAA through D alkaline, as well as rechargeable batteries, which can be found in products such as digital cameras, cordless phones, two-way radios, wireless keyboards, cordless power tools and cell phones. A complete list of the types of batteries accepted as well as the 40 take-back sites, are available at www.sgvcog.org/batteryrecycling.
To support lamp recycling the project also co-sponsored a two-day lamp-recycling event with Southern California Edison and also provided San Gabriel Valley residents information about permanent fluorescent lamp collection sites and household hazardous waste (HHW) roundup events. An ongoing schedule of HHW roundup events, which accept all types of products from batteries to pesticides and take place throughout Los Angeles County, can be found at http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/hhw/.
SOURCE San Gabriel Valley Council of GovernmentsBack to top