Representing a dozen battery manufacturers, battery stewardship organization Call2Recycle will submit to Vermont regulators a plan for the collection and recycling of single-use batteries.
The nonprofit group announced it had been selected by battery producers to represent them in complying with the nation’s first mandatory take-back law for single-use batteries.
Call2Recycle has a network of 34,000 collection sites in the U.S. and Canada where consumers can return rechargeable batteries for recycling. In Vermont, it already has a voluntarily established network of 100 drop-off sites accepting rechargeable batteries.
The Vermont law covers only single-use households batteries, including alkaline, carbon-zinc and lithium metal batteries, and it applies to those weighing 4.4 pounds or less, according to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
“Millions of single-use batteries used to power toys, flashlights, wireless devices and other consumer products are thrown away every day, when they could be diverted from landfills for recycling,” Carl Smith, Call2Recycle CEO and president, stated in a press release. “We applaud Vermont for addressing this issue and look forward to working with state government and our partners to implement a recycling program in the months ahead.”
Call2Recycle has been selected by the following battery producers to help them comply with the state law, passed in May 2014: Ace Hardware Corp., Dorcy International, Duracell/The Gillette Co./ Procter & Gamble, Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Interstate Batteries Recycling, Maxell Corporation, Panasonic Corp., Polaroid, Rayovac/Spectrum Brands, RiteAid, Sony Electronics and Varta MicroBattery.
Call2Recycle will submit a plan to the state on behalf of those companies by June 1, 2015. The plan, which will be posted on the state Agency of Natural Resources website, must include details on the battery brands covered by the plan, collection sites, public outreach efforts, take-back goals and more. Under the law, producers must provide at least two collection sites in each of Vermont’s 14 counties, must accept batteries for free from any person and must agree to accept up to 100 batteries per visit by a consumer. All municipalities, battery retailers and certified solid waste management facilities can opt to be a collection facility under a plan.
Under the law, the plan also must include a reimbursement procedure so that, for example, Call2Recycle could request reimbursement from a battery manufacturer that declined to join Call2Recycle’s effort when the group collects and recycles that manufacturer’s batteries.
Mia Roethlein, environmental analyst at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, said the state will contact any producers selling in Vermont that aren’t on the Call2Recycle list. The state will ensure they participate under a stewardship plan, submit their own plan in time for the June 1 deadline or prove their exemption (companies that sell under $2,000 worth of batteries a year in Vermont are exempt).
Under the law, collections at various sites around the state will open starting Jan. 1, 2016.
Vermont currently has a landfill ban on certain types of rechargeable batteries but not a ban on disposal of single-use batteries, Roethlein said.