Promoting battery recycling wins Winnipeg Public Library a community bike rack

The staff from St. Vital library branch celebrates being declared Winnipeg's "Waste Ace"

The staff from St. Vital library branch celebrates being declared Winnipeg’s “Waste Ace”

For Waste Reduction Week 2013, Call2Recycle® partnered with Winnipeg Public Library to raise awareness of our battery recycling program.  From October 21-27 all branches of Winnipeg Public Library competed to see which one could collect the most weight in spent batteries and used cellphones in seven days, earning the title of Winnipeg’s “Waste Ace”.

To make sure that people in Winnipeg were aware of Waste Reduction Week and the Call2Recycle program, staff in each of the branches unleashed their creativity by building eye-catching in-library displays and signage.  From Pembina Trail to West Kildonan and Westwood to Transcona, giant-sized AA batteries and other signage appeared hanging from the ceiling, a Halloween theme hauntingly asked for batteries, and some library-goers were even greeted with battery requests from the characters of Star Wars.

Both Call2Recycle and Winnipeg Public Library maintained chatter on Facebook and Twitter throughout the week.  This, combined with the displays and other promotional activity, got the message across to Winnipeggers.  By the end of the week more than 3,000 kg of batteries and cellphones had been collected.  That’s the weight of almost eight horses.  “The Winnipeg Waste Ace competition is a testimony to the power of communities,” explains Orysia Boytchuk, Marketing Director, Call2Recycle.  “The library did a great job in rallying the entire city behind battery recycling, and the entire city will benefit as a result.  It’s amazing what they managed to accomplish in such a short time.”

At the end of the week it was the community from St. Vital who triumphed, collecting 471 kg of batteries and used cellphones at their library branch.  Louis Riel Library came second with 412 kg and River Heights Library third with 309 kg.  As the winning branch, St. Vital Library got to choose the prize Call2Recycle would deliver.  After considering the needs of the local community, the team there elected to have Call2Recycle purchase a new bike rack for the library.  St. Vital Councillor Brian Mayes responded, “I would like to congratulate those who contributed to the Call2Recyle initiative by bringing in enough battery material to the St. Vital Library to garner a new bike rack that will be used by the many patrons who visit our branch.”

Rick Walker, Manager of Library Services, Winnipeg Public Library added, “The St. Vital Library has been well used by the residents of the community for over 50 years.  It’s been one of our busier branches since opening in 1963, loaning over 220,000 items annually. It is not surprising that this environmentally-conscious community would finish first in this competition, and it will be great to have a new bike rack that encourages visitors to ride their bike to the library rather than drive.”  The new bike rack will be delivered to St. Vital Library in time for spring 2014 bike riding and will serve the community for years to come.

Although Waste Reduction Week has now ended for 2013, Winnipeg Public Library continues to collect for the Call2Recycle program year-round at all 20 branches.  Call2Recycle accepts household batteries (weighing up to 5 kg) and used cellphones (any make, model, or age).  To find the drop-off location nearest you, visit our online locator or call 888.224.9764.

Thank you to all our participating branches – here’s a look at some of their creative displays:


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