The Big Apple is known for the huge amount of trash it generates, but now it has a less ignoble claim to solid waste fame: Call2Recycle, the only free rechargeable battery and cell phone collection program in North America, this year reports that more than 44,000 pounds of rechargeable batteries have been collected and recycled through their program in New York City, a 13 percent increase over last year.
What’s the impetus behind all this green do-gooding in Gotham? Legislation enacted in 2006 mandates rechargeable battery recycling throughout all five boroughs; all city retailers that currently sell rechargeable batteries are required to collect used batteries for recycling. According to Call2Recycle, the amount of batteries turned in in 2009 is equivalent to about 12 standard taxi cabs, keeping tons of solid waste out of landfills.
“New York City has demonstrated a consistent commitment to the environment, first by requiring battery recycling and then by subsequently growing collections year over year,” said Carl Smith, president and CEO of RBRC, which operates Call2Recycle, in a statement. “This city is poised to set the precedent for battery recycling across the nation as more people become aware and decide to participate.” The company reminds consumers to recycle rechargeable batteries from old electronics when replacing them with new ones over the holidays.