Call2Recycle, North America’s only free battery and cell phone collection program, announced a record-breaking collection of 6.7 million pounds of rechargeable batteries, a 10.1 percent increase from its 2009 collection rate.
California, Texas and Florida collected the largest amount of rechargeable batteries, with 932,882 pounds, 530,582 pounds and 373,802 pounds, respectively.
According to Call2Recycle, the increase in battery recycling wasn’t limited to the U.S. The rate in Canada soared to 81 percent over 2009 rates, in part due to the organization’s expansion to British Columbia and Ontario.
“The battery recycling landscape is changing, with the enactment of legislation in Canada and the consideration of new legislation in other areas,” says Carl Smith, president and CEO of Call2Recycle.
“That, coupled with the strength of our 2010 results and a heightened awareness among industries and the public of the importance of recycling the items we use, inspires confidence in our performance for 2011 and beyond.”
British Columbia’s total collections increased by nearly 420 percent, with more than 43,000 kilograms of rechargeable batteries and slightly more than 96,000 kilograms of primary batteries collected in the province. In Ontario, battery recycling efforts increased by 59 percent, with collections of more than 139,000 kilograms of rechargeables and more than 75,000 kilograms of primary batteries.
While nine states have passed laws banning rechargeable batteries from landfills, New York City and the state of California have passed the only laws requiring manufacturer take-back programs. These batteries contain a great deal of heavy metals, meaning that if they’re not recycled, contamination is much more likely.
Editor’s Note: The cutline was updated on Jan. 20, 2011 to read “6.7 million pounds of batteries.”
Amanda Wills is the Managing Editor of Earth911. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaWills.