Forests Ontario

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Recycle your batteries! You never know what they’ll become.

Posted: March 22, 2018

by Jeff Lauritsen

If you’re the kind of person that recycles your batteries, you’re awesome!

There’s a good chance you don’t even realize just how significant that small effort really is, or what it means to dozens of local charities and even provincial initiatives like Forests Ontario’s Durham 5 Million Tree Program.

When we think about recycling, naturally our first thought is how that impacts our environment. We may think about that landfill on the outside of town or the green-house-gas emissions we save from reusing old materials to make new products. That’s all true, but we wanted to expand on that a bit, so you know just how awesome you really are!

14,527 tonnes of eCO2 could be saved if Canadians recycled 50% of primary batteries

In 2009, Kelleher Environmental published a study for Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada that estimated that 14,527 tonnes of eCO2 could be saved if Canadians recycled 50% of their primary batteries in a year. That’s the equivalent of taking 3100 cars off Ontario roads for an entire year.

Based on our last report card (2016), people living in Ontario recycled 49% of all the single-use batteries that were available and ready to be recycled that year. Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to reuse all those materials, your efforts prevented green-house gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere!

By the way, if you’re thinking 49% isn’t a great achievement, think again! Recycling programs for your typical household battery haven’t been around as long as you may think. Ontario only started recycling household batteries in 2009 and at that point in time we were only recycling 5%. In 2016, people living in Ontario recycled more single-use batteries than any other region in North America and its capture rate rivals the top European recycling programs that have been around for more than two decades.

Since 2015, battery recycling has helped plant and care for 140,000 trees

In 2015, the Region of Durham pledged to plant 5 million trees across its territory to support the Forests Ontario 50 Million Tree Program. The Region enlisted the help of Raw Materials Company, a primary battery recycling company in Port Colborne, Ontario. As a corporate sponsor, Raw Materials Company enlisted some of its local recyclers to collect batteries in support of the tree planting program.

For every kilogram recycled, Raw Materials Company donates funds to Forests Ontario to plant and care for trees across the Region.  So far, Forests Ontario has planted 140,000 trees! Once they’re fully grown, those 140,000 trees will absorb approximately 3,050 tonnes of eCO2 a year.

Battery recycling supports local charities in many Ontario communities

Battery recycling also supports many local charities, including Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity affiliate stores coordinate fundraising events in their communities. The funds they raise are used to select and support partner families for home ownership and to manage the building of Habitat homes.

In 2012, Raw Materials Company teamed up with every Habitat store across Ontario. The batteries that you recycle at Habitat for Humanity help fund local home building projects.

Now that you know, there’s only one thing left to do. Recycle!

There you have it, you’re awesome! Did you know there are thousands of free recycling points setup across the Province to recycle single-use batteries? To find one near you, please visit www.rawmaterials.com and enter your Ontario postal code to discover all the places that recycle batteries in your community. It’s that easy.

Jeff Lauritsen is the owner of Ripple Communications, a niche online marketing company located in Tweed, Ontario. Since 2009, Jeff’s focus has been to advance waste diversion across Ontario.


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