Chittenden (VT) Battery Increase

Chittenden (Vermont) Sees Battery Collections Jump Thanks to New Law

The recycling centers in Chittenden County Vermont are busy. Very busy in fact. The Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), which manages solid waste disposal for the county, has seen a major increase in battery recycling activity at its drop-off centers, Environmental Depot, “Rover mobile collection unit and 135 sites around Vermont so far this year.

The uptick is a direct result of a product stewardship law that went into effect on the first of the year. It requires battery stewards (primarily battery producers) to pay for the collection and recycling of their products within the state. Rechargeable batteries have been voluntarily recycled by stewards since 1994.

As of the October 2016, CSWD had shipped almost 18,000 lbs. of used batteries, well above its battery shipments for any recent year. Single-use batteries make up more than half of the 2016 battery shipments. This is in distinct contrast to the period between 1999 and 2015, when rechargeable batteries comprised 80% of all shipments. Since 1999, Chittenden County has shipped almost 90,000 lbs. of batteries to Call2Recycle.

“Convenience is an important aspect of having a successful program,” said Jen Holliday, product stewardship program manager for CSWD, and chair of the Vermont Product Stewardship Council (VPSC). “Our goal is to inspire people to take the extra step and keep used batteries out of our landfill.”

“We expect this upward trend in battery recycling to continue as more Vermont residents find out about the single-use battery program,” said Todd Ellis, director of Stewardship Programs, Call2Recycle. “The volume of single-use batteries being dropped off for recycling should greatly exceed that of rechargeable batteries from now on.”

Ninety six percent of Vermont residents have a Call2Recycle collection site within 10 miles of their homes; these sites are in addition to the CSWD recycling sites. For more information about the CSWD program, visit the county web site.

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