Hockey Legend Guy Lafleur (#10) Teams Up With RBRC to Encourage Canadians to Score One for the Environment and Make Recycling Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones Their Goal
TORONTO, CANADA, September 17, 2007 – To commemorate the organization‟s environmental advances to-date, the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) today celebrated its ten-year anniversary in Canada. Hockey legend, Guy Lafleur, who serves as an ambassador for the non-profit, helped kick off the press conference at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. As part of the celebration, RBRC announced a new partnership with Kids Help Phone, an organization that provides free, anonymous counseling, referral and information services for children and youth in Canada.
Over the last ten years, RBRC has made significant strides to educate businesses, communities, public agencies, retailers and the public-at-large about the importance of rechargeable battery and cellphone recycling. The RBRC recognized early on that the number of cordless products that contain rechargeable batteries was on the rise and wanted to do everything possible to keep these items, some of which can contain hazardous materials, out of the solid waste stream. Through local education awareness campaigns, public service announcements, the signing-on of additional collection locations and partnerships with community organizations, the RBRC has achieved much of what it set out to do, and has experienced tremendous growth since the program‟s introduction in Canada in 1997. The following is a sampling of some of RBRC‟s key accomplishments:
- A total of over one million kilograms of rechargeable batteries and cellphones have been collected over the last ten years, with collection recycling rates consistently increasing year over year
- The 2004 launch of the Call2Recycle™ all-inclusive program that provides participating locations with collection boxes and other resources free-of-charge for the collection of both rechargeable batteries and cellphones
- Over 7000 locations are currently enrolled in the Call2Recycle™ program in Canada, including major retailers such as: The Source by Circuit City, Canadian Tire, Batteries Expert, London Drugs, Sears, the Sony store, and The Home Depot, as well as local community organizations and public agencies, including Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Commission, the City of Hamilton, the Regional Municipality of Halton, the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union, Toronto Police Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and hundreds of others
- The 2005 recipient of the “Industry Steward of the Year” award from the Nova Scotia Resource Recovery Fund Board for making significant environmental contributions, as well as the 1999 co-recipient of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment “Pollution Prevention” award
- Recycling Leadership Awards presented each year to various top-performing collection participants for their efforts in rechargeable battery and cellphone recycling
- Frequent public service and education campaigns that serve as a platform for communicating the RBRC‟s message to consumers; Hockey legend Guy Lafleur serves an instrumental role in RBRC‟s outreach to various organizations
While a tremendous opportunity exists for the program to expand beyond its current scope, the RBRC is confident that with the help of all Canadians, the sign-on of new collection locations and expanded education outreach programs, additional used rechargeable batteries and old cellphones can be diverted from landfills, helping to advance Canada‟s environmental sustainability in the long-term.
“We are incredibly proud of our achievements over the last ten years and thank all of our program participants and Canadian consumers for helping us get this far,” said Norm England, RBRC President and CEO. “We recognize that, although we have seen our numbers increase each year, there is much more that can be done. Through concerted outreach campaigns, the addition of more collection locations and the involvement of all Canadians who want to join our „green team‟ to recycle their used rechargeable batteries and old cellphones, our goals and recycling results will continue to expand and make even more of a positive environmental difference.”
RBRC‟s collection numbers have increased at a tremendous rate. In fact, in August 2007, RBRC collected over 30,000 kilograms of rechargeable batteries and cellphones, more than the total amount of kilograms collected in the first six months of 2001. There is, of course, still room for growth, and RBRC is eager to expand its presence across the country.
As part of its ongoing commitment to improve the lives of all Canadians through public education campaigns, RBRC in Canada is now partnering with Kids Help Phone. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of refurbished phones will be donated to the organization several times each year, and RBRC hopes to partner with the organization on various events moving forward.
“With each passing year, I am always excited to see the new programs and initiatives the RBRC plans in Canada,” said Guy Lafleur, RBRC Ambassador. “I‟ve been on 5 Stanley Cup winning teams but the impact that I‟m able to have via the RBRC is much more important — both for our environment and for our collective future. On RBRC‟s team, I‟m encouraging everyone to help score one for the environment and make the recycling of rechargeable batteries and cellphones a regular part of Canadian life.”
Since 1996, RBRC has collected over 16 million kilograms of rechargeable batteries in the U.S and Canada. Consumers can find the nearest participating drop-off location by going online at www.call2recycle.org or www.rbrc.org or calling toll free 1-877-2-RECYCLE.
Call2Recycle is the industry’s first and only product stewardship program for rechargeable batteries. The nonprofit program is administered by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a public service organization dedicated to rechargeable battery recycling. There are more than 30,000 Call2Recycle drop-off locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. More than 175 manufacturers and marketers of portable rechargeable batteries and products show their commitment to conserve natural resources and prevent rechargeable batteries from entering the solid waste stream by funding the Call2Recycle program. In pursuit of its mission, Call2Recycle also collects old cellphones, which are either recycled or refurbished and resold when possible with a portion of the proceeds benefiting select charities. For more information, call 877-2-RECYCLE or visit www.call2recycle.org.