BARRIE, Ontario - The recent revelation that Waste Diversion Ontario is actively considering a proposal that could potentially wipe out Raw Materials Company (RMC), an innovative Ontario based company that offers battery recycling and waste management services, has been received with concerns ranging from potential job losses, compromised environmental standards and questionable environmental ethics.
Eco Alkalines Batteries™ recently partnered with Raw Materials and does not support the proposal put forth by Call2Recycle to process old batteries. Eco Alkalines™ is the manufacturer of an innovative alkaline battery touted as carbon neutral and environmentally-friendly. Eco Alkalines™ wanted to further demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability and ensure that their battery was truly sustainable throughout its entire life cycle. By partnering with RMC, Eco Alkalines™ is confident that the end-of-life processing of the batteries achieves the greatest possible recycling and environmental outcomes.
RMC uses a mechanical process that crushes the batteries to separate all of the component materials. 100% of each battery is reused and up to 92% is upcycled. The paper and plastic from alkaline batteries, which makes up approximately 8% to 15% of the battery depending on type, is used to produce energy. RMC’s process to recycle alkaline batteries creates negligible green house gas emissions and produces zero secondary waste. None of the component materials are sent to the landfill. Additionally, all of the recovered materials are consumed locally within 300 miles of RMC.
So why, might you ask, would Waste Diversion Ontario, be considering another tender? Certainly, the competing proposal would have to prove to have superior environmental advantages in order to beat out RMC, a “world class” recycler, especially since the Liberal government‘s proposed Waste Reduction Act, Bill 91, with its progressive new recycling standards, is currently before the legislature at Queen’s Park.
Perhaps Call2Recycle’s proposal promises to stimulate Ontario’s economy, create new and sustainable employment opportunities and a market for the recycled output from the processed batteries. However, some would argue that Ontario is already achieving all of these benefits under the current program.
It is assumed that those making the final decision will follow government rules that require new recycling programs to have a “fair” impact on the marketplace and meet or exceed current recycling objectives. However, with what is currently known about Call2Recycle, it seems unlikely that either of these objectives will be met.
Call2Recycle, who represents major battery players Duracell and Energizer, has historically used an American smelter company to process old batteries. The smelting process is cheap, however, the environmental performance is extremely poor because a steel smelter was not designed to recycle alkaline batteries. The burning process creates unnecessary green house gas emissions as well as a secondary waste called slag, which contains high concentrations of heavy metals. This slag is often used as filler for asphalt roads and considered by most to be a waste as it cannot be re-used.
It seems likely to assume that due to its longstanding relationship with the Pennsylvania based smelting company; Call2Recyle would move the processing of batteries from the Ontario market into Pennsylvania. Not only would this put RMC out of business, eliminating the employment of close to 50 Ontario residents in a period marked by economic instability, but also it would ultimately prove to be a much less environmentally sound option.
What is also concerning for Eco Alkalines™, is the presumed environmental priorities of Call2Recyle’s affiliated battery manufacturers. Eco Alkalines™ believes that a manufacturer who is committed to environmental stewardship and truly cares about the end of life management would look to work with processors achieving a good environmental recycling rate versus working with lower cost processes that are not environmentally sound, such as smelting.
Call2Recycle may be able to quote a lower bid, but the costs to the local Ontario economy and the impact on the environment will far outweigh the perceived benefit of a reduction in government spending.
Eco Alkalines™ are the world’s first certified carbon neutral disposable battery. Touted as eco-friendly and landfill safe, Eco Alkalines™ partnered with the CarbonFund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability to achieve a neutral green house emission output. Eco Alkalines™ are a high powered and long lasting digital alkaline battery with performance rivaling leading national battery brands. Eco Alkalines™ is committed to environmental stewardship and believes that green options should be available to all at a fair price. For more information visit www.ecoalkalines.com
Contact: Lionel Lalonde
Eco Alkalines Batteries™