On the very first Earth Day, celebrated nearly 40 years ago on April 22, 1970; the U.S. was a poisoned nation. Air and water pollution were rampant, DDT was still in use, and landmark federal actions were still to come. Today, while the U.S. is a much cleaner country overall, the fight for a healthy environment goes on. In the U.S. alone, nearly 100 million automobile batteries are replaced each year, causing a major pollution problem once the discarded batteries decompose. With last Thursday being Earth Day, CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) Manitoba decided it was time once again to give Mother Earth a break. To do this, they made it known throughout their surrounding area that they would be taking in old and unwanted batteries at three separate depots. In doing so, CAA Manitoba diverted more than 300 automobile batteries from ending up in landfills. Overall, CAA Manitoba’s battery disposal program has diverted more than 25,000 vehicle batteries from landfills since 1999!
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 12-Volt battery is the most recycled product in the world. Roughly 97 percent of the lead in a 12-Volt battery can be recycled. However, a major issue is that the recycling isn’t always done properly. The Blacksmith Institute calls the incorrect dismantling of lead-acid batteries “one of the globe’s 10 worst pollution problems.” Each car battery contains about 18 pounds of lead and a pound of sulfuric acid, making them extremely hazardous. That’s a scary thought when you consider that an estimated five million batteries make their way to dumps and landfills each year.
The solution for dealing with dead batteries? RBRC.org (Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation) is a great website filled with information regarding the recycling of batteries. They also help people find the nearest place to take their batteries once they’ve run their course. All you do is type in your zip code and you’ll be directed toward the closest drop-off location. You can also check out the Call2Recycle program as well. Its purpose is to help educate and provide answers to those looking to become a bit more eco-friendly. For instance, I recently discovered that almost every location that sells new batteries is set up to take the old one back for recycling. This type of information may seem simple and basic, but when spread to the masses it can have a significant impact on the way we do things.
It’s absolutely vital to our beautiful planet that we follow the lead of CAA Manitoba in being environmentally responsible and going the extra mile for our planet. Strive to make Earth Day everyday!
Category: Battery News