Despite the global pandemic impacting battery recycling habits, Canadians recycled 4.1 million kilograms of household batteries in 2020. That’s the largest amount of batteries diverted from landfills in the history of Call2Recycle, a program that collects batteries for recycling.
With frequent lockdowns and restrictions across the country impacting battery recycling behaviour, Call2Recycle focused its efforts on educating Canadians about the importance of safely protecting and storing their used batteries at home until it was safe to visit a drop-off location.
The 2020 collections results represent Canadians’ unwavering dedication to battery recycling and safeguarding the environment despite the challenges they faced. While battery recycling momentum increased across the country, regulated provinces British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario, which implemented its battery recycling regulation on July 1, 2020, saw the highest collection results.
Provinces with regulations for end-of-life battery management (Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island) continued diverting used batteries from landfills despite COVID-19 disruptions:
Ontario residents collected 1.7 million kilograms of used batteries in 2020, including collections from July 1, operating under the province’s new regulation for end-of-life battery management.
Quebec residents collected 1.2 million kilograms of used batteries, maintaining a steady pace with collections from 2019.
British Columbia residents recycled over 780,000 kilograms of used batteries resulting in an annual increase of more than 8 percent.
Manitoba residents recycled more than 98,000 kilograms of used batteries resulting in a slight decrease compared to 2019.
Prince Edward Island residents recycled almost 20,000 kilograms of used batteries resulting in a decrease compared to 2019.
“Given the circumstances last year, we are beyond grateful for Canadians’ continued commitment to recycling their used batteries and the significant role they play in helping to protect our environment while keeping our homes and communities safe,” said Joe Zenobio, president of Call2Recycle Canada, Inc.
“Thanks to the ongoing support of our collection and program partners, we navigated the challenges of COVID-19, and our collective efforts resulted in recycling more batteries than ever before.”
Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. has been administering its consumer battery collection and recycling program, Call2Recycle, in Canada since 1997 and continues to ensure Canadians have easy and accessible recycling options through its regulated and voluntary provincial battery recycling programs.
In 2020, Call2Recycle introduced more than 1,000 new collection sites to its Canadian network by launching the Ontario consumer battery collection and recycling program. Ninety-two percent of Canadians live within 15 kilometres of one of Call2Recycle’s public drop-off locations in retail stores, municipalities, businesses, schools/universities and government buildings.