The mission of the Corporation for Battery Recharging is "...to find new ways to extract heavy metals and other valuable materials out of old batteries and then create new ones, which would then reduce the amount of virgin materials needed to manufacture household batteries" (Kaye, Battery Manufacturers Pledge to Nationwide Recycling). In 2009, the Department of Transportation mandated that stricter precautions be taken for batteries that were shipped to recycling centers. This significantly increased the amount of batteries that were sent to the garbage dump, instead of being recycled. This is one of the reasons why the CBR was created by the companies; Rayovac, Panasonic, Duracell and Energizer.
In order to research the collection and recycling patterns around the nation, CBR instituted six foundational programs in the following locations:
1. Santa Clara, California
2. Hennepin County, Minnesota
3. King County, Washington
4. Snohomish County, Washington
5. Onondaga County, New York
6. San Luis Obispo County, California
Professionals at these programs are surveying the different brands and battery chemistries that are expected to be recycled by consumers. The purpose of this research is to determine which brands consumers' are using, and the diversity of their recycling habits. Full reports of the studies that are taken at program locations are available to the public on the CBR website.
Batteries must be made with pure elements in
order for them to produce the kind of high performance that consumers
expect. Elements like zinc, steel and manganese extracted from old batteries can not be reused for new ones. This does not mean that these elements will be tossed out, however, since they can be reused for the production of other applications. Household products that consist of zinc, steel and manganese can be made from the elements of old batteries. This would decrease the amount of waste product in our environment, and lead to the decrease in price for some household items.
Recycling benefits the producer, the consumer and the environment. You can play a major role in ensuring that the batteries you use are of good quality, and can be recycled at the least expense to the environment. CBR is currently looking into new ways to engage consumers in household battery recycling programs. In 2012, the DOT changed recycling restrictions to include some more leniency, but there is still more work to be done. CBR hopes to institute a state-by-state, national program, which would expand the six program locations. This will also make it easier for consumers to participate more deeply in the household recycling programs already started by CBR, and other interested organizations.
Corporation for Battery Recycling
Earth911: Battery Manufacturers Pledge to Nationwide Recycling