RBRC: More Than 5.6 Million Pounds Of Rechargeable Batteries Collected In 2006

On Jan. 10, the non-profit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. (RBRC) released its year-end data for 2006, reporting the collection of more than 5.6 million pounds of rechargeable batteries in the U.S. and Canada, through its Call2RecycleT program. Call2Recycle provides a convenient way to collect and recycle used rechargeable batteries found in products, such as cordless power tools, two-way radios, cordless or cellular phones, laptop computers, digital cameras and camcorders.

The organization said its successful year can be attributed in part to the increase in participation among national retailers, businesses, communities and licensee recycling programs. In 2006, retailer participation increased 18 percent, while community and public agency participation increased 23 percent. Participation by businesses had the greatest increase of 48 percent. National participating retailers include Best Buy, Circuit City, The Home Depot, Lowe's, RadioShack, Sears and Target.

"We are pleased that our program continues to grow and welcome the participation of many new key partners," said Ralph Millard, executive vice president, RBRC. "As consumers' reliance on portable, cordless electronic products continues to grow, so does the need to recycle the batteries that power them, which is RBRC's mission."

The increase in collection numbers can also be attributed to recent efforts including:

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  • The signing of new community, business and retail partners. Since January, RBRC has signed on more than 1,000 new communities and public agencies, and more than 1,200 new business partners, in addition to numerous new retail partners including: Duane Reade, Sony Style Stores, Circuit City, Rite Aid, California-based Kragen Auto Parts and Fry's Electronics.
  • California's "Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act of 2006." RBRC supported California's recently-passed "Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act of 2006," requiring retailers that sell rechargeable batteries in the state of California to provide consumers with a free program for returning rechargeable batteries for reuse, recycling or proper disposal. Through Call2Recycle, retailers can fully comply with the new law and join the existing 4,695 locations in the state of California that already participate in the program.
  • "New York City Rechargeable Battery Recycling Ordinance" (Introductory Number 70-A). RBRC was named as the solution for all New York City retailers needing to comply with the new law, effective Dec. 1, 2006, which prohibits the disposal of rechargeable batteries as solid waste and requires all New York City retailers that sell rechargeable batteries and products that contain them to collect used batteries. Call2Recycle features more than 300 locations in New York City, where consumers can drop off used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones at no cost.
  • RBRC's "Green Means Go.RECYCLE" Campaign. As part of its "Green Means Go.RECYCLE" campaign, RBRC encouraged NASCAR fans to learn about rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling with an interactive exhibit. The 53-foot long modular exhibit and display featured a full-size racing simulator car, an interactive prize wheel where individuals were rewarded for their recycling knowledge and fun, educational materials from RBRC. NASCAR fans are considered a key target audience by RBRC, because many of them frequently use power tools and other portable electronics that commonly use rechargeable batteries.
  • Gold MarCom Creative Award. Recognized for its "Cell Phone Retirement" advertising campaign in the category of "Print Advertising Campaign." A subsidiary of the Communicator Awards, the MarCom Creative Awards offer marketing and communications professionals an alternative competition that focuses solely on creative excellence.
  • INMETCO Partnership Expansion. RBRC and The International Metals Reclamation Company, Inc. (INMETCO) expanded their relationship to include joint marketing initiatives, such as appearances at trade shows and conferences, print and online collateral materials, and general media relations, which has resulted in reaching out to a larger audience.
  • "We would like to thank all of our partners for such a successful year and we look forward to an even more successful 2007," Millard said. "Just remember, if it is rechargeable, it is recyclable."

    For more information or to find the nearest participating drop-off location, go to http://www.call2recycle.org.

    This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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