Canadians recycle batteries in record numbers

TORONTO – Canadians recycled more than 2.7 million kilograms of household batteries in 2018, an increase of three per cent over 2017 and a record for the organization.

“Thanks to provincial regulations and partnerships with our collection network, including retailers and depots, Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of recycling batteries, resulting in record-high collections in 2018,” said Joe Zenobio, president of Call2Recycle Canada, Inc.

“We are committed to further investing in consumer accessibility, education and awareness efforts across Canada to ensure we are growing the number of batteries diverted from Canadian landfills each year.”

Total battery collections weighed in at more than 2.7 million kilograms, with regulated provinces, British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec leading the charge. Quebec residents collected the most, recycling almost 1.2 million kilograms of used batteries, a 15 per cent increase over 2017. BC residents recycled 634,000 kilograms of used batteries, an increase of two per cent from 2017 collections. Manitobans recycled 105,000 kilograms of used batteries, resulting in a significant annual increase of 15 per cent.

Single use battery collections were higher than rechargeable collections. This is because many rechargeable batteries are now embedded in products where the device is not designed for battery removal. Collections of single use batteries increased by 5.8 per cent from 2017 for a total of 2.1 million kilograms.

In 2018, Call2Recycle, the non-profit which administers battery collection and recycling, established over 1,000 new collection sites in the regulated provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. The organization is committed to proactively increasing the number of collection sites and collection opportunities across Canada ensuring that consumers – regardless of their location – are served with a variety of recycling options.

Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. has been administering its battery collection and recycling program in Canada for over 20 years and continues to ensure it provides easy and accessible recycling options. Today, more than 91 per cent of Canadians live within 15 kilometers of one of Call2Recycle’s public drop-off locations located in retail, municipalities, businesses, schools/universities and government buildings.

Since 1997, Call2Recycle has diverted 19 million kilograms of batteries from the solid waste stream and established more than 8,800 collection sites throughout Canada.