How does North America do it?

Our last few posts have been a little bit gloom and doom, so we thought that we would take the opportunity to look abroad at some programs that are doing an absolutely great job of battery recycling.

First up is Call2Recycle.


Call2Recycle is North America’s first (est. 1996) and largest battery stewardship program, collecting and recycling rechargeable batteries and cellphones at no cost in the United States and Canada.

Product stewardship aims to minimize the environmental impacts of products in the market place, advocating that organizations look at the whole lifecycle of a product and ensure that no harm comes to the environment.

Call2Recycle has a network of more than 30,000 collection sites throughout North America, and is a leader in product stewardship (just last year Call2Recycle diverted more than 4.5 million kg of batteries from landfill!). One of the best things I think about the program is that it meets the most rigorous recycling standards in the world and no waste materials from the recycling process are exported out of the country.

This is an organization that is making great leaps in battery recycling and is definitely a source of inspiration for us here at Recharge the Environment. The program also has an amazing presence online where they are a hub for all information about battery recycling, and at the same time raise awareness about the importance of battery recycling.

Yet, how does Call2Recycle work?

Call2Recycle was developed by five concerned battery manufacturers as a voluntary, industry-run initiative to keep the heavy metals from rechargeable batteries out of the solid waste stream. That’s right it’s a non-for-profit that is industry-funded.

How fantastic does that sound?

What are some other great programs out there? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below and we will investigate!


– Lilly


4 thoughts on “How does North America do it?

  1. Very interesting read, I had no idea this issue was so concerning till reading your blogs. This makes me feel the issue in Australia revolves around awareness. I am in my twenties, have been using batteries my entire life, and only now understand the life process of a battery. Looking back, I can’t remember a time when I have seen or heard of any initiative to deal with this issue, and it’s clearly one that needs attention. A massive shift in public awareness to try and bring about pressure to change the way we dispose of our batteries is clearly needed. Though, the problem seems to be so cemented, bringing about change in legislation to stop the exporting and dumping of batteries in other countries seems like a massive task. So, in terms of thinking about the issue from another perspective, I’m curious as to what initiatives are out there to make battery use a thing of the past? Are there any technologies (proposed or in development) that would make the use of chemical batteries obsolete?

    • Thank you for your very insightful comment ‘breakthevirtual’. Bringing about a national awareness is our main objective here at Recharge the Environment. At the moment, it is pretty hard to imagine that batteries will ever be made obsolete – we use them so often in everyday life. As far as I know, there isn’t a potential alternative to batteries at the moment, though there are some very innovative research programs looking into reducing battery use and making batteries more environmentally friendly and ethical. We will be discussing these in future posts so please keep an eye out! Cheers, Lilly.

  2. Pingback: The European Example | Recharge the Environment

  3. Pingback: Change for Telco Retail and Manufacturing | Campaign: Recycle-A-Phone

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