Calif. Assemblyman Das Williams (D) has introduced a bill to the state legislature which would create a recycling and disposal program for all non-rechargeable, single-use household batteries sold in the state.
In early 2006, household batteries were prohibited from being disposed of in solid waste landfills in California. However, currently there is no system in place for managing discarded single-use batteries, making it difficult for consumers to find places to recycle old batteries.
“Banning batteries from disposal without making recycling easy is frustrating for the public. The goal of this bill is to provide convenient recycling opportunities statewide to make it easy for consumers to comply with the law,” said Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the California Product Stewardship Council, in a press release.
Assembly Bill 488 would require producers of single-use household batteries to submit a stewardship plan to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.
California state law already requires producers and retailers of rechargeable batteries to collect used rechargeable batteries from consumers. However, currently there is no such mandatory take-back system for single-use alkaline batteries.
Approximately 80 percent of batteries sold in California are alkaline batteries, according to the assembly bill. Managing discarded batteries costs local governments and taxpayers up to $2,700 per ton, which adds up to tens of millions of dollars each year.
“This is a perfect example of how producers, local governments and retailers can unite to help meet a greater good,” Assemblyman Williams said in a press release. “By changing our habits in little ways such as recycling batteries, we can collectively make dramatic changes to help the environment and save money.”
The bill may be heard in committee as early as March 22. If passed, the proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2015.