OCRRA Charged Up About Battery Program Changes

New federal guidelines go into effect January 1, 2010:

Beginning Jan. 1, look for changes in OCRRA's Household Battery Collection program. Due to new federal regulations, alkaline, rechargeable and button batteries must be collected separately.

What does this mean for OCRRA's Battery Program? Look for NEW collection bins at all Onondaga County Wegmans. Previously, the stores served as collection sites for household batteries using a single-bin system, where all batteries could be mixed together. The new bins, hitting the stores January 1st, are 3-bin collection systems, with separate slots for alkaline, rechargeable, and button batteries (including hearing aid and watch batteries).

As before, on a weekly basis OCRRA will continue to pick up and properly dispose of batteries dropped off at Wegmans.

Here's how it will work at Onondaga County Wegmans stores:

Deposit loose alkaline batteries in the large container. The alkaline batteries do NOT have to be put in individual plastic bags.

Put each rechargeable battery in an individual plastic bag (provided) and place in the special container labeled "Rechargeable Batteries Only."

Place loose button batteries in the container labeled "Button Batteries Only." The button batteries do NOT have to be in plastic bags.

Other battery disposal options:

1. Over 50 local places accept rechargeable batteries for recycling at no charge. For a comprehensive list, visit: www.OCRRA.org/programs_battery.asp. Put rechargeable batteries in individual plastic bags (provided) and place in special container labeled "Rechargeable Batteries Only."

2. July Curbside Collection = Alkalines ONLY. Place alkalines, only, in new yellow collection bags for the July curbside collection. Rechargeable or button types cannot be accepted due to the new federal regulations.

3. Drop off at the Rock Cut Road Transfer Station. Batteries may also be dropped off at OCRRA's Rock Cut Road Transfer Station (5808 Rock Cut Road, off Brighton Avenue). Please separate rechargeable batteries from alkalines and button types. Put each rechargeable in a separate plastic bag.

OCRRA's Household Battery Collection effort, with the community's help, nets 100,000 pounds of batteries each year and keeps heavy metals (such as cadmium and mercury) out of the community's waste stream.

More information is available online at: www.OCRRA.org/programs_battery.asp. Working together, we can continue to keep household batteries out of the waste stream.

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