The battery collection pilot has ended. The two collections resulted in the diversion of 39 metric tonnes of household single-use batteries from landfill. Durham Region gathered important battery collection information from the collection pilot program such as costs, participation rates, set-out rates, generation rates and residue rates. This information will be evaluated and used to determine any future battery collection program in the Region of Durham. The Regional Works Department will report back to Regional Council with the results of the battery collection pilot and recommendations before the end of 2013.
Collection coincides with the annual “Fall Back” and “Spring Ahead” daylight savings time changes and promotion of changing batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
In addition to providing residents with a more convenient option for proper single-use battery disposal, the program aims to remove single-use batteries from the waste stream by collecting and recycling any reusable materials. This recycling process allows materials to be recovered and reused in other technologies.
During the week of Nov 12-16, 2012, the first curbside collection occurred. Plastic bags with bright orange markings were distributed to residents with instructions to place their bag on the top of their blue boxes for collection.
A total weight 23.94 metric tonnes (52,770 lbs) of household single use, dry cell batteries were collected from this first curbside collection. This is about the same as what all three Regional Waste Management Facilities normally collected in one year.
The second curbside collection is scheduled for March 18-22, 2013 on your blue box collection day. Battery bags will be distributed beginning Thursday, Feb. 28 and made available to residents to participate at local municipal offices.
Collect household batteries and store them until the next collection. Upon receiving the orange battery collection bag:
Step 1: Open the seal and place loose batteries into your battery collection bag.
Step 2: Place the sealed bag on top of your blue box on your regular recycling collection day during the week of March 18, 2013.
Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry location, away from any flammable material, prior to disposal. During storage, battery terminals should not be in contact with conductive materials. The terminals on nine volt batteries, in particular, should be covered prior to storage. Learn more about safe battery storage and disposal.
Due to regulatory requirements, only undamaged, single use, dry cell batteries are acceptable for curbside collection. Residents with damaged or 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.
The Region of Durham has partnered with several organizations to provide this pilot program to residents, including:
The timing of these single-use battery collections is intended to coincide with local Fire Departments’ semi-annual campaign which reminds residents to change the single use batteries in household smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Why should I recycle batteries?
Battery recycling is important to reduce soil contamination and water pollution, which can occur if these products are improperly disposed. Batteries also contain valuable commodities that can be effectively recycled, reducing demand for virgin metals.
What kinds of batteries are accepted?
What kinds of batteries are not accepted?
How do I recycle my unwanted batteries?
There will be orange battery bags distributed to Durham household with instructions prior to the next scheduled battery collection.
Batteries can then be placed in these bags in preparation for the second curbside collection during the week of March 18-22, 2013. The sealed bag, containing the unwanted batteries, can then be placed at the curb (on the top of your blue box) on your regular recycling collection day.
Please do not place batteries loose inside your blue box for collection. They must be placed inside a plastic ziplock bag and sealed for collection.
This large-scale curbside pilot program is the first of its kind in Ontario and has the potential to greatly increase the quantity of single-use batteries collected for proper recycling and diversion from landfill.
What if I miss my collection date?
Residents who miss the collection date are encouraged to visit www.makethedrop.ca to find the nearest battery recycling drop-off location that can be used any time of the year.
Where can I recycle batteries outside of this special collection twice a year?
Please take your household batteries to your local waste management facility for proper disposal, free of charge. You can also visit www.makethedrop.ca for alternative retail locations accepting Household Hazardous Waste.
How do I store my batteries?
Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry location, away from any flammable material, prior to disposal. During storage, battery terminals should not be in contact with conductive materials. The terminals on nine volt batteries, in particular, should be covered prior to storage. Learn more about safe battery storage and disposal here.
Is this curbside program available to residents living in apartment buildings?
No, curbside collection is not available at apartment buildings. Residents in apartment building and condominiums who do not have curbside collection service from the Region of Durham will be provided a container for battery recycling in their designated recycling area. Each building will be contacted related to this recycling program for apartment buildings. Alternately, residents are encouraged to visit www.makethedrop.ca to find the nearest battery recycling drop off location.
What happens to the batteries after they are collected?
All batteries received by Raw Materials Company Inc.’s (RMC) processing facility in Port Colborne, Ontario are sorted by type and then recycled to recover their respective components, i.e., metal, carbon, manganese etc. For example, zinc and manganese that are recovered from the battery are used as ingredients in a micronutrient fertilizer, which helps increase corn crop production.
RMC is an international leader in the field of waste and resource recycling, and are the only approved battery processor for Ontario’s Municipal Hazardous and Special Waste program. RMC’s battery recycling technology is capable of recycling and recovering up to 86 per cent of the components found in spent single-use batteries, thus eliminating the need for any battery wastes to enter the waste stream and significantly reducing heavy metals pollution.
The battery bags used for storage and collection will be recovered from the program and recycled for remanufacturing by Indaco Manufacturing Ltd.
I have too many batteries to fit in the collection bag. What do I do with the rest?
For overflow, residents may choose to use a zip-lock bag as a final alternative. Additional bags may be picked up at your local municipal office or participating fire halls during regular hours of operation. Please call your local fire hall to see if they are participating. You can also deliver your batteries to your local waste management facility for recycling.
I have not received the battery collection bag. How do I obtain one?
Bags may be picked up at your local municipal office or participating fire halls during regular hours of operation. Please call your local fire hall to see if they are participating.
I have a damaged battery, can it go in the bag?
Due to regulatory requirements, curbside collection is only for intact batteries. Damaged or rusting batteries should be placed in a leak-proof container and delivered to a local Regional waste management facility.