Vermont once again made the news this week, as non-profit organization Call2Recycle, North America's first and largest battery stewardship program will submit to Vermont regulators, a plan for the collection and recycling of single-use batteries. The non-profit 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 currently has a network of 34,000 collection sites in the U.S. and Canada, where consumers have the ability to return rechargeable batteries to be recycled. Vermont currently has the most voluntarily current network of 100 drop-off sites accepting all these types of batteries. Currently, the Vermont law accepts only single-use household batteries, including alkaline, carbon-zinc and lithium metal batteries. According to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, these batteries must weigh 4.4 pounds or less.
"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," stated Carl Smith, Call2Recycle CEO and president. "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 was chosen by multiple battery producers, including: Duracell/The Gillette Co./Procter & Gamble, Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Sony Electronics and many more, to help them adhere with the state law, that was passed in May 2014. Call2Recycle is required to submit a plan to the state in accordance with 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 fourteen counties, must accept batteries for free from any person and must agree to accept up to 100 batteries per visit by a consumer," stated Resource Recycling.
Environmental analyst for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Mia Roethlein 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 1st deadline or prove their exemption. Vermont currently has a landfill ban on certain types of rechargeable batteries but not a ban on disposal of single-use batteries."
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