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[GreenYes] Household Battery Recycling programs
Title: Household Battery Recycling programs
Greenyes subscribers:
I thought I would send along a copy of a story I wrote about the Illinois Student Environmental Network's new Household Battery Recycling Program. There has been some discussion of this issue on the list, and I wanted folks to know about our program and let you know that I am more than happy to talk to folks about how we set up and are running our highly successful program. We accept every type of battery accept car/truck/golf cart/motorcycle batteries. Old rechargables, regular batteries, regardless of manufacturer. Folks with questions can reach me at 217-384-0830 or mailto:isen@isenonline.org.

Laura Huth
Executive Director
Illinois Student Environmental Network

Illinois Student Environmental Network launches
Household Battery Recycling Program
Program  aims to divert thousands of  batteries from the landfill

The Illinois Student Environmental Network (ISEN), a non-profit organization based in downtown Urbana, Illinois, has launched a Household Battery Recycling Program for Champaign County residents. Batteries accepted include: alkaline, zinc air, zinc carbon, lithium, nickel-cadmium, nickel metal hydride, mercuric oxide, silver oxide, button cells, and used up rechargeable batteries, commonly found in cell/cordless phones, cameras, watches, hearing aids, handheld electronics, calculators, remote controls, flashlights, radios, and other household products. The only batteries not accepted are car, truck, golf cart batteries.

Each year American's buy 2 billion batteries. That is about 8 batteries per person, including children. In Champaign County, where ISEN is headquartered, it's estimated residents use 1.4 million batteries each year. Until now, most ended up in landfills or incinerators. The heavy metals and acids in batteries pose serious health and environmental risks, especially for children. Nickel, mercury, lead, manganese, zinc, and cadmium, all found in common household batteries, have each been linked to serious health problems such as cancer, developmental disorders, and immune deficiency. When disposed of in landfills, batteries can leak dangerous chemicals into surface, ground, and drinking water. If incinerated, heavy metals can be sent as dangerous pollutants into our air.

The program is free to all Champaign County residents, but recycling batteries isn't cheap - it costs ISEN about $1 per pound to recycle the batteries, which are shipped to Battery Solutions in Michigan for recycling. Because the program costs about $16,000 to operate for a year, participants are encouraged to leave donations to offset program costs. This program is being supported by the donations from local residents, businesses, and government units.

The program was launched on May 9 and so far has collected over 800 pounds of batteries in just four months, well on the way to the organization's goal of collecting 1,400 pounds of batteries in one year. Six convenient battery drop-off locations serve county residents that are open weekdays and weeekends.

ISEN is currently working with a student group in western Illinois to launch a program there, and with communities in southern Illinois and the Chicagoland area to begin program there as well.

The Illinois Student Environmental Network is a statewide organization based in downtown Urbana training and educating activists across Illinois passionate about protecting the environment for future generations. ISEN's staff provide leadership, group, and campaign-building and organizing skills to 120 student groups on over 90 Illinois campuses and a host of community groups working for a better world. For over eight years, ISEN has helped to organize, educate, and empower nearly 3,500 Illinoisans to take action on critical environmental and social justice issues through training, educational, networking, and outreach programs.

For more information about the program, contact Laura Huth, ISEN Executive Director, at 217-384-0830 or isen@isenonline.org.
-- 
Illinois Student Environmental Network       
110 S. Race, Suite 202, Urbana, IL 61801
isen@isenonline.org       
800-817-6999  or  217-384-0830
www.isenonline.org
 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
                 - Margaret Mead

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