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Press Release: Battery Collection Program

 

Durham launches semi-annual battery collection pilot program

WHITBY, ON September 21, 2012 – Durham Regional Council has approved a Region of Durham, Works Department pilot program that will offer residents curbside collection for used or unwanted single-use household batteries. This special collection service will be provided twice a year, coinciding with the daylight savings time changes—when residents normally change batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

“Durham Region is the first regional municipality in Ontario to offer such an extensive curbside collection program for used or unwanted batteries,” said Cliff Curtis, Commissioner of Works. “Durham is proud to introduce this pilot program to residents—staff have been dedicated to launching this program in order to divert additional waste from landfill.”

Durham households will receive a bag with bright orange markings on it in late October for battery collection. Batteries should be stored in these bags until curbside collection during the week of Nov. 12. The bag, containing the unwanted batteries, can then be placed at the curb (on the top of the blue box) on your regular recycling collection day, for this week only. Please note, this service will not be provided weekly, it will only occur twice a year coinciding with daylight savings time changes. Households will receive another bag prior to the spring collection in March.

“Batteries do not belong in the garbage, they are recyclable and we want them out of the waste stream,” said Mirka Januszkiewicz, Director of Waste Management. “An average four-person household can generate up to five kilograms of single-use battery waste each year. This new program will provide an additional convenient, simple solution for residents to properly recycle their used or unwanted batteries.”

Due to regulatory requirements, only undamaged, single use, dry cell batteries are acceptable in this curbside collection pilot program. Residents with leaking batteries, or wet cell batteries (such as automotive), should place the batteries in a leak-proof container and deliver them to a Regional Waste Management Facility for recycling.

Residents in apartment buildings and condominiums, who do not have curbside collection service from the Region of Durham, or residents who miss the collection date, are encouraged to also visit www.makethedrop.ca to find the nearest battery recycling drop-off location that can be used any time of the year.

“Eighty-six per cent of a battery is recyclable and recoverable,” said Craig Bartlett, Manager of Waste Operations. “By recycling the components found in used batteries, we are taking another step towards increasing our diversion rates.”

The Region of Durham has partnered with several organizations to provide this pilot program to residents, including Raw Materials Company Inc. (RMC), a Canadian-owned company that is providing the recycling services for the collected batteries. Miller Waste Systems and Green for Life, the Region’s two contractors for blue box collection, are providing additional collection services in support of this recycling initiative. Covanta Energy Corporation is providing financial support to provide the collection tools for this program. Indaco, a local bag manufacturer, is providing the battery collection bags and will be recycling the bags after they are used. Also, Stewardship Ontario will be providing transportation and processing support to the battery collection pilot program.

For more information on this pilot program, please visit www.durham.ca/battery