More than 7.5 million pounds (3 400 tonnes) of batteries were responsibly recycled in the US last year, according to Call2Recycle. The nationwide battery stewardship organisation reports this is up 5% compared to 2018.
The weight of rechargeable batteries collected for recycling grew 13% in 2019. Participating retail sites collected more than 1650 tonnes (up 7% from 2018) and municipalities recovered more than 850 tonnes (up 18%).
Vermont, the first state requiring primary battery producers to finance a collection and recycling programme for single-use batteries, recycled more than 83 tonnes of rechargeable and single-use batteries. It boasts the best record per head of population.
Call2Recycle ceo Carl Smith notes that over 61 500 tonnes of batteries have been recycled across the US since the programme was launched in 1994. ‘As we celebrated our 25th anniversary, we have been very encouraged to see battery collections grow, especially consumers recycling lithium-ion batteries, the most common type of rechargeable batteries,’ Smith says. ‘Batteries power our lives and lithium-ion batteries, in particular, aren’t going away.’
A 36% jump in the collection of lithium-ion batteries is ‘a positive sign’ that consumers are becoming more aware that everyday portable cordless devices – from electric toothbrushes, tablets, laptops and smart watches – contain batteries that need to be safely and responsibly managed.
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