Battery Recycling Program

In 2012, Durham Region initiated a one-year curbside battery recycling pilot program. The pilot consisted of two curbside collection services – one in November 2012 and another in March 2013. The collections diverted 39 metric tonnes (39,000 kilograms) of household, single-use batteries from landfill -- about the same as what all of Durham’s Waste Management Facilities normally collect in one year. This accomplishment set a Guinness World Record® for the most batteries collected in a 24-hour period.

Based on the success of the pilot program, Regional Council adopted this waste diversion program as a component of its regular waste program on September 18, 2013.

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. Recycling allows materials to be recovered and reused in other technologies.

Curbside Collection Schedule

Durham’s curbside battery recycling program has two annual collections: spring and fall. The fall collection coincides with the annual “fall back” daylight savings time changes and the promotion of changing batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors by local fire departments. The spring collection coincides with annual Earth Week events in April.

Battery Collection Schedule

Labelling

Orange labels with instructions on how to participate in the program are now included annually in your waste management calendar.

Battery Collection Label
Click here for printable image

Set-out your battery bag on top of your blue box on your regular blue box collection day.

Safe storage

Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry location, away from any flammable material. 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. For more information about preparing batteries for recycling please visit http://www.rawmaterials.com/page/education/prepare-batteries.

Battery types accepted

Due to regulatory requirements, only undamaged, single use, dry cell batteries are acceptable for curbside collection. Residents with damaged, leaking 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.

Frequently asked questions

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 for the curbside collection?

What kinds of batteries are not accepted?

These batteries are accepted at any Regional Waste Management Facility

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. For more information about preparing batteries for recycling please visit http://www.rawmaterials.com/page/education/prepare-batteries.

Is this curbside program available to residents living in apartment buildings?

Yes, Durham Region operates a multi-residential battery recycling program in some buildings that receive municipal waste collection services.

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 reusable components including metal, carbon, manganese, and other commodities. For example, zinc and manganese recovered from the battery are used as ingredients in a micronutrient fertilizer, which helps increase corn crop production.

RMC, an international leader in the field of waste and resource recycling, 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 92 per cent of the components found in spent single-use batteries.