by Elaine Munro, Director, Sustainable Operations
A Holiday Must: Recycle Your Batteries!
When the shredded wrapping paper settles and the turkey leftovers are gone, there’s still another task on the holiday season “to do” list… New Year’s Resolutions. The usual lists feature eating better, exercising more and improving work-life balance. These are important, but I’d like to add a new, small initiative to the list that you may not have considered, which will make a real difference: recycle ALL your batteries, ALL the time!
Batteries contain extremely toxic substances like mercury, cadmium, lithium, lead and nickel metal hydride. When they are not properly recycled, these substances leach into soil and water with long-lasting detrimental effects. And size doesn’t matter! Even small button batteries contain very harmful substances.
Just one milligram (1mg) of mercury can make the fish in a 20-acre lake inedible for ONE FULL YEAR. There is approximately 11mg of mercury in the average button cell battery that powers your travel alarm clock!
And yet, it has never been easier to recycle batteries. Almost all batteries can be recycled at big box stores such as Home Depot and Ikea. In most urban locations, there are “transfer stations” connected to residential disposal services that take all forms of batteries, including industrial sizes. Body Plus and Sonoma have set up battery recycling boxes in their lunch rooms to make it that much easier for staff to recycle batteries.
Progressive is committed to recycling all of our batteries. We bring them to the local transfer station. It makes us feel good as a company, and as individuals, to know we are doing our small part to keep these toxic substances in the right place. We definitely don’t want them in our farmland or drinking water.
1. 87% of Canadians are aware that improper disposal of batteries has a negative environmental effect.
2. 60% of Canadians don’t properly dispose of batteries.
3. 28% use community battery recycling facilities (sometimes referred to as the “Orange Box.)
Let us know if you’ve decided to jump on the battery recycling wagon. Also, we’d love to hear the rest of your “Eco New Year’s Resolutions”. Email us and we’ll share your story!