Vermont regulators have chosen Call2Recycle to manage the nation’s first extended producer responsibility program for single-use batteries.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources approved the Atlanta-based industry stewardship group’s battery take-back and recycling plan. The plan was submitted on behalf of 21 battery producers.

Call2Recycle already operates a nationwide voluntary collection and recycling program for rechargeable batteries. The group also coordinates recycling of single-use batteries in some areas. Last year, the group announced it hit a milestone of recycling 50,000 tons of batteries over its two decades in existence.

“Vermont’s battery program marks a pivotal moment in our country’s efforts to reduce the amount of materials in our landfills through responsible recycling,” Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, Inc., stated in a press release. “Call2Recycle is thrilled to be at the forefront of battery stewardship and excited to be applying its expertise to offer a comprehensive battery recycling solution to Vermont residents.”

Call2Recycle’s network of 140 rechargeable battery collection sites in Vermont will begin accepting single-use batteries starting in 2016. The industry-funded organization expects to increase the number of collection sites by 30 percent to 35 percent over the course of the year, according to the group’s stewardship plan.

It set a goal of collecting 20 percent of single-use batteries in Vermont by the end of 2020, the fifth year of the program, according to its plan. That goal was partially based on Call2Recycle’s experience with extended producer responsibility in British Columbia, which saw a 23 percent battery collection rate during the program’s fifth year.

Call2Recycle told state regulators collected single-use batteries will be sent to Ellwood City, Pa.-based INMETCO, which sorts and recycles batteries. The facility uses a rotary hearth and an electric arc furnace for thermal metal reclamation.

INMETCO attains about an 84 percent recycling efficiency rate, which exceeds even the stringent 80 percent standard employed in Ontario, Canada, according to Call2Recycle.