Goals surpassed in the first Canada-wide recycling contest, as schools collect 30,439 kg – the weight of a humpback whale – in used batteries.
Toronto, Ontario. June 15, 2016. Almost 300 schools across the nation participated in the inaugural Call2Recycle and Earth Day Canada’s EcoKids Battery Busters Spring Cleaning Contest, which resulted in 30,439 kg of used or expired batteries collected for recycling, in what organizers are proclaiming a huge win for both the schools and the planet. The bilingual contest was created to promote the importance of proper battery disposal and recycling options for this prevalent waste stream.
Joe Zenobio, Executive Director, Call2Recycle Canada Inc. says, “We are delighted with the results of our first Canada-wide school battery recycling contest. We were hoping for a good response, but were amazed at the hundreds of schools from all provinces that rose to the challenge! The commitment to protecting the planet was evident in the dynamic displays and the enthusiasm in collecting batteries, as our phones kept ringing off the hook for more collection boxes, and for information about battery recycling.”
The contest required schools to develop creative campaigns that would motivate their community to recycle used batteries and earn a chance to win a cash prize. Submissions were received from ten provinces and, after a lengthy judging process, winners have been determined:
Lakefront Consolidated Elementary in Tangier, NS, with a population of just 38 students, teachers and staff, wins the prize for the most batteries collected per person at the school, bringing in 4.3 kg each of used or expired batteries. “I have always believed that positive change is less about the size of a community, and more about the heart of a community,” says Lakefront principal Carole DesBarres. This school wins the grand prize of $2,500 to spend on an environmental initiative of their choosing.
Meanwhile, Chemong Public School in Bridgenorth, ON, takes the honour of collecting the most batteries overall – an impressive 1,184 kg in total – and a $1,000 prize. “Our winnings will be put toward an investment in an outdoor classroom and our Community Garden,” says Rachelle Duffus, vice-principal of Chemong Public School. “This initiative has taught the students that they can do anything to make the world a better place. We’re very proud of them.”
The winner of the $1,500 creative prize is Twin Oaks Elementary School in Laval, QC, where teacher Karen Stoddart and her class created a retirement home for batteries, featuring a chimney that served as a collection point as well as park benches and swings, with a pair of used AA batteries (complete with grey hair) helping to boost the message. Says Ms. Stoddart, “Winning this prize has not only given us a sense of pride and accomplishment but will allow us to invest in adopting a beehive to help Bring Back the Bees, an initiative that our Earth Rangers have been researching and hoping to eventually accomplish.”
Other creative submissions included a “Recycle King” with throne, crown and sceptre, recycling games, and collection boxes that were transformed into robots, monsters and even Toronto Blue Jays star José Bautista! All of the schools actively promoted their campaigns through homemade posters, bulletin board displays, videos and even a couple of original songs.
“We couldn’t be more impressed with everything these students, teachers and staff have accomplished,” says Deborah Doncaster, President of Earth Day Canada. “This contest has demonstrated the amazing impact that schools of all sizes can have when they come together for a single cause, to help the planet.”
About Call2Recycle Canada, Inc.
Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. is a premier product stewardship organization dedicated to minimizing the environmental impacts of products in the marketplace. Operating across Canada and the U.S., its marquee battery recycling program Call2Recycle® is the oldest and largest consumer battery stewardship program, collecting and recycling batteries for retailers, municipalities, businesses and consumers through its network of 8,000 collection sites in Canada. Since 1996, over 45 million kilograms of batteries and cellphones have been diverted from the solid waste stream in North America. Learn more at call2recycle.ca.
Earth Day Canada’s EcoKids Program provides free, curriculum-based environmental education resources to thousands of schools and teachers across Canada — empowering young Canadians to lessen their impact on the environment. From its modest beginnings in 1994, EcoKids has evolved into Canada’s most comprehensive school-based environmental education program.
For more information or to request interviews, please contact:
Director of Communications and Campaigns
Earth Day Canada
416-599-1991 ext. 207
Director, Marketing & Communications
Call2Recycle Canada, Inc.