Far too few household batteries being recycled

A poll released last week by Raw Materials Company, a leading battery recycler, states that only 37 per cent of Canadians properly dispose of their used batteries. The poll, conducted by Angus Reid, states that 87 per cent of respondents reported awareness of the detrimental effects improperly disposed batteries have on the environment, a mere 28 per cent currently utilize recycling programs, with an additional 11 per cent reporting to a hazardous waste centre.

GallonDaily’s take is that, as is often the case with polls about the environment, the rate of participation in battery recycling is significantly overstated by the Angus Reid poll. People have a very strong tendency to tell pollsters what they know they should be doing, not what they are actually doing. RMC states that Environment Canada estimates that only 5 only per cent single-use, disposable of batteries in Canada were properly disposed of in 2007. That is a more credible number.

GallonDaily’s perspective is that industry efforts to encourage household dry cell battery recycling are, to put it mildly, woefully inadequate. The result of the inadequate effort is likely to be government intervention and regulation within two or three years. With the collapse of support for ecofee based systems in Ontario, regulation may well place a significant additional burden on battery brandowners and retailers.

The RMC report, with more data and analysis,  is at http://www.rawmaterials.com/rss-news-feed/Raw-Materials-Company-Battery-Recycling-News/More-than-60-per-cent-1086/

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