A thousand pounds of UWindsor batteries stayed out of landfills last year and found new use through recycling, thanks to the efforts of the Chemical Control Centre.
Tina Lepine, hazardous materials technician in the centre, says a 2015 push to encourage the drop-off of used batteries and cell phones on campus paid big dividends.
“We went full force to put out information and flyers,” she says. “We use a program called Call2Recycle, which is supported by the provincial government to promote the recycling of batteries.”
Call2Recycle, established in 1996, is North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program—a non-profit organization that collects and recycles batteries at no cost to municipalities, businesses and consumers. The company has diverted more than 45 million kilograms (100 million pounds) of batteries and cellphones from the solid waste stream and has more than 30,000 collection sites throughout Canada and the U.S.
Lepine was behind efforts to place collection boxes around campus to give the campus community more convenient ways to drop off old batteries and cell phones.
“We have about 15 collection boxes across campus,” she says. “When they are full, they are collected and shipped out. It’s an efficient and structured program. New stuff comes in all the time and we do our best to find a home for things. It’s all about having a cradle-to-grave plan for what we use.”