Seattle Marks First Battery Recycling Day

City Officials, Environmental Groups and the Public Turn Out for City-Wide Rechargeable Battery Collection Drive Hosted by Call2Recycle

SEATTLE (JUNE 28, 2012) – The City of Seattle has proclaimed today the first Battery Recycling Day. The centerpiece of the city-wide battery collection drive will take place at Seattle Center’s International Fountain from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., hosted by Call2Recycle®, the only no-cost rechargeable battery and cellphone collection program in North America. Senator Sharon Nelson (34th District) and Representative Steve Tharinger (24th District) will be acknowledged during the event for their commitment to the environment and recycling awareness. Tim Croll, Solid Waste Director at Seattle Public Utilities, will present the Mayor’s official recognition of Battery Recycling Day at 12:30 p.m. today. Seattle Mariner Michael Saunders* will be signing autographs. And, organizations attending in support will include Zero Waste Seattle and King County Hazardous Waste Program.

“On behalf of Mayor McGinn and the City of Seattle, we are very pleased to proclaim today ‘Battery Recycling Day’,” said Tim Croll, Solid Waste Director, Seattle Public Utilities. “In the state of Washington, Call2Recycle collected over 230,000 pounds of waste batteries in 2011 – up over 14 percent from 2010. The eco-safe reclamation and recycling of batteries is an easy and important part of Seattle’s ongoing recycling and waste recovery success. And, all Seattle residents and businesses are encouraged to take part.”

Residents are invited to scour attics, junk drawers and desks for used rechargeable batteries – the kind used in cellphones, laptops and cordless power tools – and bring them to Seattle Center. Residents of Washington can also visit any of Call2Recycle’s 700 other active drop-off locations in the state, including community collection sites and retailers, such as Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), RadioShack (NYSE:RSH), The Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) and Bartell Drugs during business hours.

“We Washingtonians take pride in being good caretakers of our natural world, and using recyclable batteries is a smart step in reducing waste and protecting the environment,” said Sen. Sharon Nelson, Chair of the Senate Environment Committee. “The next step is to keep those batteries out of the landfill – clean out that desk drawer or the box in the garage, and bring old batteries in to be properly recycled. We can do more to keep the cycle of reuse going.”

“There is tremendous opportunity for the state of Washington to establish key principles that can enable the growth and performance of programs like Call2Recycle, and to help make battery collections easy and accessible for the public,” said Rep. Steve Tharinger, who is the Vice Chair of the House Environment Committee. “Our state already has good voluntary participation rates, but if we are able to formalize the program we could divert even more batteries from Washington’s landfills that don’t need to be there.”

“We can’t think of a better place to mark Battery Recycling Day than Seattle. Washington State is poised to be a model for battery collection and recycling programs,” said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, one of the nation’s most successful product stewardship programs.  “Having government, retail, industry and like-minded associations working together is key to having a successful recycling program, which is why it’s so significant that we are all joining forces today.”

The event comes on the heels of a survey by Call2Recycle that found more than half of Americans are holding on to old gadgets in junk drawers and elsewhere rather than recycling them – in part because they don’t know how or where to recycle old technology. Call2Recycle’s research also revealed that 29 percent of Americans admit to suffering from “green guilt” (the knowledge that you could and should be doing more to help preserve the environment.) This is more than double the percentage (12 percent) who professed to feel guilty in 2009.  Battery Recycling Day is the opportunity for many to assuage some of this guilt.

Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted 70 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from landfills and established a network of 30,000 public collection sites nationwide. Today, it’s supported by almost 200 battery and product manufacturers dedicated to ensuring the proper end‐of‐life disposal of their products.

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