Don’t forget to replace and recycle your batteries after you move

On display this July 1: special Canada Day concerts, parades and fireworks. Among the less festive sights across Quebec: moving trucks and recycling bins jammed to overflowing with cardboard boxes and bubble wrap. For many people who rent their homes, it’s also moving day. In 2016 alone, an estimated 200,000 people participated in this annual ritual unique to the province.

All that packing and unpacking provides an ideal opportunity to swap out and recycle batteries found in household items, said Francine O’Brien, director of marketing and communication for Call2Recycle, Canada’s largest and oldest battery recycling program.

“More than 80 per cent of Quebec residents know that batteries can be recycled,” said O’Brien. “Residents recycled 20 per cent more batteries with Call2Recycle in 2016 than in 2015, so we’re definitely seeing people integrate it into their daily routine.”

There is an easy way to tell if the batteries you brought with you are still good. For less than $15, a small handheld battery-testing device can be purchased at major retailers to test the types of batteries commonly used around the house.

Here are a few battery safety tips to keep in mind.

Safety first
Immediately check smoke detectors, CO2 alarms and the devices linked to a home security system, including electronic door locks. Don’t forget flashlights and lanterns for use in case of power outages. Then move on to things like the cordless phones, television remote controls, baby monitors, digital cameras and cordless power tools. Immediately remove any batteries that are leaking, swollen or don’t look normal from devices.

Save them for recycling
As you collect the batteries, place each one in a clear plastic bag or put duct or non-conductive electrical tape over the positive terminal (or all terminals). Button batteries can be placed (not touching) on a strip of clear tape and then covered with a second strip, creating a “ravioli.” This step prevents batteries rubbing directly against each other, which can become a safety issue.

Don’t leave them lying in a drawer or a little-used device too long to avoid leaks. Collect them in a non-metal container stored in a cool, dry place until it’s time to drop them off at a recycling depot, usually within six months.

Recycle them
The next step is to drop them off at a recycling site or depot. Call2Recycle Canada has 1,515 drop-off sites in Quebec, 98 per cent of which are within 15 km of your home or work. Many can be found at large retailers, like Canadian Tire, Jean Coutu drugstores, The Home Depot and Rona. The locator on the Call2Recycle website provides a quick way to find the nearest drop-off point and a guide to the many types of batteries you might find in your home.

Quebec has recycled more than 5 million kg, a significant portion of the 13.6 million kg recycled in Canada in the past 20 years. One reason is that residents care about the environment and want to act on it in daily lives.

You might want to circle July 1 on next year’s calendar or Daylight Savings Time changes in the fall or spring. These events provide good reminders for battery replacement.

“The important thing is to get into the habit of checking the batteries around your home regularly, then recycling the batteries every six months or so,” O’Brien said. “You’ll feel good knowing that the batteries are being kept out of the landfill and used in manufacturing new batteries and stainless-steel products.”

For more information, visit Call2recycle.ca or Recyc-quebec.gouv.qc.ca.

Disclaimer: This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Call2Recycle.

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