San Gabriel Valley businesses recycle nearly 1,800 pounds of used batteries

A battery recycling program organized by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) in California has achieved stunning results since beginning on Earth Day of this year. According to the Sacramento Bee, the program was also given a grant by the California Department of Resources Recycle and Recovery (CalRecycle) and the businesses collectively have removed 1,784 pounds of spent batteries from the local waste stream.

In addition to the large-scale recycling initiative, SGVCOG also organized a number of focus groups and surveys to study how people dispose of their old household batteries. The state of California outlawed trash disposal of these batteries in 2006, but many people still absent mindedly throw in them in the trash can anyway. Of the San Gabriel Valley residents surveyed, only 59 percent knew that throwing batteries in the garbage was against the law and 56 percent knew it was illegal and did it anyway.

"The survey results indicated a great need to make battery recycling convenient," Heidi Sanborn, executive director of the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), told the news source. "We are working with local businesses across the San Gabriel Valley to provide convenient battery collection opportunities for consumers who can recycle their batteries at stores where they were already going to go anyway."

In addition to public recycling initiatives like these, CalRecycle has been setting up disposal areas all over the state to make battery recycling easier for residents. Batteries - from standard AAA to the larger D alkaline variety - will be accepted at take-back locations throughout San Gabriel Valley. These common sense initiatives will help people become more excited about recycling and hopefully other states will follow suit to help remove these recyclable materials from local landfills.