Faqs

Battery Recycling (12)

What are single-use batteries?

Single-use batteries are typically alkaline, lithium primary or carbon-zinc batteries. Once they lose their charge, they can’t be used again. It is important to recycle single-use batteries, not only to save valuable space in the solid waste stream but also to reuse our natural resources. Some provinces require the recycling of all batteries, including single-use.

What are rechargeable batteries?

Rechargeable batteries are batteries you use more than once; they are designed for long-term use. You either plug them into a charger or they charge while in the device. Some rechargeable batteries can contain potentially harmful materials, such as heavy metals like lead, cadmium and nickel. Rechargeable batteries should always be recycled and in some states or provinces, recycling is the law.

Do you collect single-use batteries?

Yes both single-use and rechargeable batteries are collected in Canada.

What are the most common uses for and single-use and rechargeable batteries?

You typically find single-use batteries in toys, flashlights, remote controls, smoke alarms and some handheld gaming systems. You’ll find that many common household cordless electronics use rechargeable batteries, including cellphones, cordless power tools, laptop computers, digital cameras, two-way radios, MP3 players/iPods, tablets and cordless phones to name just a few. Check the battery’s label to identify its type.

What batteries can I recycle?

We accept all rechargeable batteries weighing up to 5 kg each, including Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn) and Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb). We also accept alkaline, lithium primary and carbon-zinc batteries.

 

What batteries need to be individually bagged?

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb) rechargeable batteries and lithium primary batteries must be individually bagged or have their terminals covered with tape before they are shipped. Other battery types do not need to be individually bagged. If you are not sure what chemistry your battery is, then please bag it to be on the safe side.

What is recycled from the batteries I turn in?

  • Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries: The cadmium is used to make new Ni-Cd batteries or as a stiffener in materials such as cement.
  • Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries: The cobalt is used to create new lithium-based batteries.
  • Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb) batteries: The lead is used to make new batteries.
  • Ni-Cd, Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) and Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries: The nickel is used in stainless steel products.

Why is it so important to recycle batteries? Don’t they last forever?

Single-use batteries lose their charge and cannot be recharged. Rechargeable batteries lose their ability to hold a charge after 1,000 charges or 2-5 years, depending on how often they are used and if they are handled and charged properly. At that point, they cannot be used. We encourage you to recycle both kinds instead of throwing them in the trash.

Is it illegal to throw away batteries in the trash?

Some provinces have made it illegal to dispose of batteries in the regular trash. They are considered potentially toxic material. Regardless of the law, it’s smart to recycle them and keep them from entering the solid waste stream and potentially harming the environment.

What is a wet-cell battery?

A wet-cell battery is the original type of rechargeable battery. It is commonly found in aviation, electric utilities, energy storage and cellphone towers. The battery contains a liquid electrolyte such as sulfuric acid, a dangerous corrosive liquid that damages what it comes into contact with.

Do you collect wet-cell batteries?

Call2Recyle currently accepts only dry-cell batteries weighing up to 5 kg each. We do not accept wet-cell batteries for recycling. Visit the Canadian Battery Association’s RecycleMyBattery website to find out where you can recycle these batteries. 

 

Do you collect car batteries?

We do not accept car batteries for recycling. You can contact your local auto repair/parts store or community solid waste program/transfer stations for recycling information. The Canadian Battery Association’s RecycleMyBattery website can also help you find a nearby site that accepts car batteries for recycling.

Call2Recycle (6)

Who is Call2Recycle®?

We are the premier, no-cost used battery and cellphone collection program with a network of more than 30,000 collection sites offered throughout North America. Since 1996, environmentally committed people like you have helped us divert more than 35 million kg of rechargeable batteries from the solid waste stream. In 2012 alone, we collected more than 4.5 million kg of batteries–a record-breaking year. We bring together consumers, businesses, non-profit groups, retailers, government agencies and the battery and electronics industries to find ways to minimize the environmental impact of batteries and associated products at the end of their useful lives.

 

How are you funded?

Major product and battery manufacturers across the globe, industry stewards, fund our recycling program to ensure that the batteries and cellphones that they introduce into the marketplace are being responsibly recycled when they reach their end of life. These industry stewards are committed to keeping batteries and cellphones out of the solid waste stream and recycling them to create new products. You can support participating manufacturers by looking for products featuring the Call2Recycle Battery Seal.

How does the Call2Recycle Program work?

You can read more about how our program works here.

What is product stewardship?

We are an industry-funded product stewardship program. Product stewardship is a policy of minimizing the environmental impact of products in the marketplace. Product stewardship advocates that organizations look at the whole lifecycle of a product, from development through manufacture and disposal, and ensures that no harm comes to the environment.

Who operates Call2Recycle?

The Call2Recycle® program is operated by Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. (formerly the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation – RBRC), a not-for-profit organization. RBRC was founded in the mid-1990s by five concerned battery manufacturers as a voluntary, industry-run initiative to keep the heavy metals from rechargeable batteries out of the solid waste stream.

Where can I leave comments?

Simply fill out our feedback form with your comments. We appreciate hearing from you to help us improve our program.

Cellphone Recycling (4)

What kind of cellphones do you recycle?

We accept all cellphones, with or without their batteries.

What happens to the cellphones you collect?

Depending on condition, the cellphones may be refurbished and resold. We recycle phones that can’t be refurbished. The proceeds help fund the cellphone collection program and public education.

Do you accept cellphone rechargers and cellphone accessories for recycling?

Call2Recycle accepts cellphones and their batteries but not the chargers or accessories. However, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association coordinates a nationwide mobile phone recycling and refurbishment program called RecycleMyCell. Click here to find a drop off location.

Do I need to remove my personal information from my cellphone before I donate it?

We recommend that you remove the personal information on your phone, although it is not required. In the recycling process, the memory on the phones is destroyed and reusable materials are recycled before they are resold. To remove the information from your phone, consult your cellphone user manual, manufacturer’s web site or the instructions found on the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association’s web site.

Collection Sites (5)

What is a collection site?

A wide variety of retailers, businesses, communities and government agencies collect batteries and cellphones as part of the Call2Recycleprogram. Organizations participate to keep potentially toxic waste from the solid waste stream and make sure these materials are properly recycled. We have 30,000 public collection sites in both the U.S. and Canada. We also have internal collection sites, such as hospitals, military bases, businesses and government agencies, which collect batteries internally. These organizations are not listed in our locator.

How do we participate as a collection site?

We will need more information from you to determine the best fit for your organization. Visit our web page for more details. You can also request information from the Customer Service Teamor call 888.224.9764 for more information.

How do we add more collection sites to our account?

Adding new collection sites is easy. Just contact our Customer Service Team at 888.224.9764. Collection kits can be shipped directly to the new locations or to a central location for distribution. These kits include all the materials you need to set up a collection display area.

Our organization is already a collection site. How do we order more collection boxes and/or bags?

You will automatically be shipped a new collection kit after we receive one from you at our recycling facility. If you are getting low on collection boxes or bags, you can also submit the collection kit re-order form for additional supplies. It takes approximately 2-5 business days for you to receive new supplies.

Does every battery need a bag?

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb) rechargeable batteries and lithium primary batteries must be individually bagged or have their terminals covered with tape before they are shipped. Other battery types do not need to be individually bagged. If you are not sure what chemistry your battery is, then please bag it to be on the safe side.

Industry Stewards (4)

What is an industry steward?

Industry stewards are the foundation of the Call2Recycle program. They are the organizations committed to promoting the responsible recycling of electronic products and batteries when they reach their end of life. Their rechargeable batteries and/or battery-powered products display the Call2Recycle Battery Recycling Seal. They provide the financial support for the program.

How do we become an industry steward?

For more information on how to become an industry steward, please contact us.

What are the benefits of being an industry steward?

Industry stewards gain many benefits through their support of the Call2Recycle program. Their support fulfills recycling requirements in the U.S. and Canada, including compliance with extensive state, provincial and federal regulations. Our Benefits of Being an Industry Steward web page outlines the advantages of becoming a Call2Recycle industry steward.

What is a licensee?

A licensee is a type of industry steward that provides financial support to Call2Recycle for the rights to imprint the Call2Recycle Battery Recycling Seal on its rechargeable batteries, products or packaging. The Seal tells customers that your organization has paid for the proper end-of-life disposal of batteries you introduce to the marketplace.

Marketing and Shipping (for Collection Sites) (6)

How do I schedule a pick-up for my collection box?

All Call2Recycle boxes come with a pre-paid return shipping label already attached. If Purolator or Canada Post regularly picks up or drops off packages at your location, you can leave the box for them to pick up on their next visit.  If you need to schedule a pickup, you can directly call Purolator at no charge. If you are outside of the Purolator or Canada Post service area, please contact our Customer Service Team at 888.224.9764 to arrange a pickup.

How do I order promotion and education materials?

Visit the Support Materials page to access program materials, including posters, customizable press releases, web banners and images. Most materials can be customized. Contact our Customer Service Team at 888.224.9764 to order custom options.

My collection box is missing a shipping label. What do I do?

Contact our Customer Service Team at 888.224.9764 to order a new shipping label. It will be sent to you at no charge

 

What if I have collected a large quantity of batteries to ship?

Call2Recycleoffers a bulk for collection sites that have shipments of 227 kg or more. For more information about shipping in bulk in Canada, click here.

We have a bulk shipment ready. How do we schedule a pick-up?

Visit the website and complete this questionnaire. Call2Recycle will contact you to set up the shipment.

Are collection boxes available in other sizes?

We only offer the standard 30 kg size collection box at this time. If you need to order more, simply contact us.

Recycling Program (11)

Do you offer an all-battery recycling program?

Yes, we collect and recycle both single-use and rechargeable batteries (weighing up to 5 kg each) in all Canadian provinces. To find the nearest participating site, visit thelocation finder, contact our Customer Service Team or call 888.224.9764.

 

How do I recycle?

The program is simple. Just collect your used batteries (weighing up to 5 kg each) and cellphones). Find the nearest Call2Recycle collection site, either by visiting our location finder or calling Customer Service Team at 888.224.9764, and drop the items off at no charge. The collection site will ship the batteries and cellphones to our recycling partners, where they are sorted for recycling. Depending on their condition, cellphones may be refurbished and resold with proceeds used to help fund the cellphone collection program and public education efforts. For a step-by-step guide on how to recycle, click here.

What do you accept?

We currently collect and recycle all single-use and rechargeable batteries weighing less than 5 kg each and cellphones in all Canadian provinces. Visit the What Can I Recycle page for specific details. Visit the Canadian Battery Association’s RecycleMyBattery website to find out where you can recycle the batteries we don’t currently accept. 

 

Is it free to recycle or is there a charge?

We are the only no-cost battery and cellphone product stewardship program offered across North America. There is no charge to recycle.

Do I have to collect from the public to participate as a collection site?

You don’t need to collect from the public to become a Call2Recycle collection site. Many organizations choose to collect only from internal locations and not from the public. Either option is available. You can contact our Customer Service Teamor call 888.224.9764 for details.

Where can I recycle?

Our drop-off locator can help you quickly find the nearest location in Canada. These locations include major retailers, community centres, and public agencies. We also have private collection sites at hospitals, military bases, businesses and government agencies. Check with your facilities manager to see if your employer is a private collection site.

Who pays for the recycling program?

Major product and battery manufacturers across the globe, called industry stewards, fund our recycling program to ensure that the batteries and cellphones that they introduce into the marketplace are being responsibly recycled when they reach their end of life. These industry stewards are committed to keeping batteries and cellphones out of the solid waste stream and recycling them to create new products. You can support participating manufacturers by looking for products featuring the Call2Recycle Battery Seal.

Why should I recycle my batteries?

The number of wireless products powered by batteries is skyrocketing. It is increasingly important that people recognize that batteries and cellphones may contain metals that can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. Our goal is to divert these potentially harmful materials from the solid waste stream and recycle their by-products into new products.

What do you do with the batteries and cellphones I drop off?

All our collected batteries are sent to sorters and processors in the U.S. and Canada. These companies sort the batteries by chemistry, and then melt them down into by-products that are used to make new products such as batteries, stainless steel alloy and cement additives. Cellphones are refurbished and resold when possible, or recycled, with the proceeds being used to fund the program. You can see how we recycle batteries in this video.

Is the Call2Recycle Program offered in other countries?

The Call2Recycle program is also offered in the U.S.

The non-profit organization that operates the Call2Recycle® program is officially changed from Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation Canada (RBRCC) to Call2Recycle Canada, Inc.