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Competition nearly triples battery recycling rates

Friday, October 23, 2015 by Nora Ankrum

In just one month, Austinites who recycled their batteries at Austin Public Library drop-off locations managed collectively to divert more than 5,800 pounds of batteries away from landfills, according to an announcement from the city. The achievement was part of the 2015 Austin Recharge Challenge, during which 21 library branches competed to recycle the most batteries as part of a campaign to increase recycling rates and raise awareness about the city’s many battery drop-off locations, such as those at public libraries. The competition ran from Aug. 17 to Sept. 18, and the big winner was the North Village Branch library, which collected 1,042 pounds of batteries. For this achievement, the library earned a $1,000 check from Call2Recycle, which sponsored the competition along with Austin Resource Recovery. According to the city’s announcement, “On average, Austin collects up to 2,000 pounds of batteries each month from residents and retailers, which was almost tripled during the Recharge Challenge campaign.” The city recycles batteries because when thrown away, they can leach harmful metals into the environment. “As the proliferation of mobile devices and other battery-powered gadgets continues to grow rapidly,” said Tim Warren of Call2Recycle, “it’s more important than ever for consumers to know where to responsibly recycle their used batteries.”

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