Battery Product Stewardship Programs


Call2Recycle is a rechargeable battery stewardship organization, operated by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a 501(c)4 nonprofit public service organization. Call2Recycle provides free battery and cell phone recycling in North America through its network of rechargeable battery and cell phone collection locations, including major retail partners. In 2010 and 2011, Call2Recycle expanded to include collection of all household batteries (including alkalines) in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba.

2011 was a "record-breaking year" of collections for Call2Recycle: 8.9 million pounds of rechargeable batteries collected, a 13% increase, and a 157% increase in primary battery collections in Canada. See their 2011 Annual Report for more information.

Founded in 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted 70 million pounds of rechargeable batteries from the solid waste stream and established a network of 30,000 public collection sites. Call2Recycle is funded by product manufacturers across the globe, representing 90% of the rechargeable power industry. These manufacturers place the RBRC recycling seal on their rechargeable products and batteries, informing users that they are recyclable.

In 1991, five major rechargeable battery manufacturers - Energizer, Panasonic Battery Corporation (Panasonic), SAFT America, SANYO Energy (U.S.A.) Corporation and Varta Batteries - established a nonprofit trade association, the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA). PRBA members established pilot recycling programs and, based on the success of these pilot programs, PRBA developed a public education and battery recycling program to be implemented nationally: the Charge Up to Recycle! program (the predecessor to Call2Recycle). This program was administered by the industry funded RBRC. The PRBA serves as the voice of the Rechargeable Power Industry, representing its members on legislative, regulatory and standards issues at the state, federal and international level. PRBA hosts an annual meeting and provides reports, newsletters and other information to keep its members informed of the latest activities and issues affecting the rechargeable power industry. In 2009, PRBA changed its name to "PRBA - The Rechargeable Battery Association" to better reflect its work on a broad range of issues impacting manufacturers and users of large format lithium ion batteries and nickel metal hydride batteries.

Call2Recycle has useful for information on battery chemistryrecycling drop-off locationswebinars and case studies, and more.

Corporation for Battery Recycling

The Corporation for Battery Recycling is a trade associaton of the five leading U.S. primary (non-rechargeable) battery manufacturers:

  • Procter & Gamble (Duracell)
  • Eastman Kodak Company Digital Capture and Devices, Consumer Digital Group
  • Energizer Holdings, Inc.
  • Panasonic Energy
  • Spectrum Brands, Inc. (Rayovac)

CBR convened a battery recycling summit in April 2011 to "develop a plan for rolling out a national system(s) that maximizes collection and reuse of spent battery material while providing measurable environmental and social benefits and economic sustainability." Prior to this, MIT conducted a life cycle assessment of alkaline batteries (PDF, Feb. 2011) for the National Electronics Manufacturers Assocation (NEMA).

The Corporation for Battery Recycling expects to issue, during the week of June 25, 2012, an open Request for Proposals (RFP) to manage and service a proposed national recycling program. The purpose of the RFP is to obtain proposals from qualified and experienced organization(s) to act as the "Stewardship Organization (SO)" responsible for managing and delivering an environmentally positive and cost effective national program for recycling primary household batteries.