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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : July/August 2007 : Industry News

Charging Ahead with Recycling
A rechargeable-battery recycling program can be a great part of the green business model.

special to green@work


In today’s society, “going green” is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Green business models and practices are viewed as a competitive advantage, and business owners are more willing than ever to invest in fostering an environmentally conscious office. One simple way that businesses can give themselves a greener edge is to recycle used rechargeable batteries that power in-office electronics such as laptop computers, PDAs and cell phones. Many companies use these items on a daily basis, relying on them to make their businesses run smoothly.

Rechargeable batteries can often last for more than 1,000 charges—the equivalent of about three years. When the batteries that power these electronics eventually stop holding a charge and need to be replaced, employers should recycle these batteries. Unfortunately, many employers don’t know how to do this, or even know that they should, which results in many used batteries in office filing cabinets and drawers or the trash.

Companies can avoid this scenario by implementing a company-wide recycling program that makes it convenient for employees to recycle used materials such as paper, metal, lumber, aluminum, plastic or oil. For batteries, organizations like the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) make recycling used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones simple. As the only national nonprofit public service organization dedicated to recycling these products, RBRC has diverted more than 36 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from public landfills since 1996. The corporation collects nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion and small sealed lead rechargeable batteries that power a variety of portable electronics including digital cameras, camcorders, power tools and other household devices.

With the corporation’s Call2Recycle™ program, consumers and businesses have a free, convenient way to properly dispose of rechargeable batteries and keep them out of the solid waste stream. For businesses or community agencies, RBRC will assist with the set-up and management of the program and provide streamlined procedures for returning the recovered batteries and cell phones to the recycling facility. Enrolling in the program is free, as are the collection containers, freight, processing and the actual recycling of used rechargeable batteries.

Recycling is just one small way businesses can create a “green” workplace. RBRC’s Call2Recycle program is the perfect solution for companies looking to implement a rechargeable battery recycling program. With education, hopefully your employees will come to view rechargeable battery recycling as second nature and make this small but effective step toward protecting the environment.


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