City council approved a bylaw authorizing an agreement with Call2Recycle for collection and disposal of used household batteries. The agreement is all part of the city's revising of its own municipal recycling program to meet the guidelines of the provincial government's plan for producer-responsible recycling in Ontario.
"Before it was Stewardship Ontario that managed recycling," said Denis Longpre, Clarence-Rockland environment manager. "Under the (provincial) Extended Stewardship program, producers are now 'cradle to grave' responsible for what they produce."
The provincial government's new producer-responsible directive for recycling now means that manufacturers of tires, bottled glass products, household batteries, and other items that can be recycled are now responsible for making sure those items are collected and processed for recycling.
This has created an opportunity for Producer Responsible Organizations (PRO) like Call2Recycle Inc. They can look after collection and processing of a recyclable item, like household batteries, which various companies might produce under various brand names.
A PRO like Call2Recycle saves those companies the expense of having to set up their own recycling collection system for their own batteries. It also allows municipalities like Clarence-Rockland to continue including items like household batteries as part of their local recycling program. Those batteries do not end up in the landfill and pose a risk of their chemical contents leaching into the groundwater table.
"It's a win," said Longpre, "because we want to continue to offer that service to our residents."
Under the agreement with Call2Recycle, the city will continue with its public drop-off boxes for old household batteries at the municipal office and the public library, when those buildings reopen to the public after the pandemic situation is over. But there will also be a drop-off collection box at the municipal landfill where residents can take their old household batteries now for disposal during business hours at the landfill.
All types of household batteries are accepted, from the tiny lithium batteries used in some digital cameras and other electronic devices, along with AAA, AA, and single-A batteries for cameras, TV remotes, and other devices, up to and including the large nine-volt batteries used in some flashlights. With the latter type of battery, residents are asked to tape over the positive terminal to prevent any short-circuiting risk when the battery is dropped into the collection box.
Call2Recycle will pick up all household batteries collected at the landfill at regular intervals for safe disposal at authorized recycling facilities.
Car batteries are not included in the arrangement with Call2Recycle. But, Longpre noted, the city will accept them for storage at a different area of the landfill for later safe disposal.