North America’s Battery Stewardship Organization Celebrates 20 Years of Growth Amidst Regulatory and Cultural Change

Call2Recycle—Battery and Cellphone Recycling Program — Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

ATLANTA, (March 21, 2014) – Twenty years ago, five concerned battery manufacturers came together to minimize the environmental impact of the products they created and cast a vision for responsible battery disposal that would change the industry forever.

This month, the organization they formed, Call2Recycle, Inc. (formerly the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation), celebrates 20 years as North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program. Call2Recycle® collects and recycles batteries and cellphones at no cost in the U.S. and Canada. The batteries and cellphones are recycled into materials that are used to create new products, keeping potential hazardous waste from entering our landfills.

 Two decades later, its core mission remains the same: bringing together manufacturers, retailers, businesses, public agencies, consumers and processors to promote battery recycling. Key achievements during the past 20 years include:

  • More than 85 million pounds (39 million kilograms) of batteries collected since 1996—or the weight of 17,000 African elephants—and 17 consecutive years of collections growth
  • An increase in collections: From 1.6 million pounds (725,748 kilograms) in its first year of collections to 11.6 million pounds (5.3 million kilograms) in 2013–enough to fill 145 18-wheeler trucks
  • Industry stewardship expansion: From the original five manufacturers to more than 210 companies today
  • An evolution in battery types collected: From a single battery type (Ni-Cd) in its first year to multiple battery types today
  • An expansion in collection locations: 34,000+ locations in North America today, with 89% of people living within 10 miles (15 kilometers) of a recycling location
  • The first U.S. recycling program of its kind to achieve Responsible Recycling (R2) certification (2012)

 “As we enter our third decade, Call2Recycle is leading the market as the first and arguably the most successful recycling program in North America,” said Carl Smith, CEO & President of Call2Recycle, Inc. “Our success can be attributed to the efforts of the many groups that support and shape our efforts, including our industry stewards, retailers, consumers and municipalities.”

“We constantly seek new ways to bring the idea of product stewardship—or the responsible management of a product’s environmental impact from design through disposal—to the community. Our goal is to be relevant in a world where responsible recycling is no longer an option, but a requirement for protecting our planet,” added Smith. 

About Call2Recycle: Founded in 1994, Call2Recycle—North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program—is a non-profit organization that collects and recycles batteries at no cost for municipalities, businesses and consumers. 2014 commemorates Call2Recycle’s 20th anniversary of product stewardship excellence. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted more than 85 million pounds (39 million kilograms) of rechargeable batteries and cellphones from the solid waste stream and established over 34,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is the first program of its kind to receive the Responsible Recycling Practices Standard (R2) certification. Learn more at or 877-723-1297.  Follow at or

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