While many recycling programs across the country have ceased completely, the city of Laramie has partnered with Call2Recycle to add another program this fall.
Residents can now recycle rechargeable batteries by dropping them off at the Laramie Landfill, free of charge.
Accepted batteries include all dry-cell rechargeable batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, which power most cellphones or laptops; small sealed lead-acid batteries, which are common in cars; nickel-metal hydride batteries, which are common in electric vehicles; nickel-zinc batteries, which are common in power tools or nickel-cadmium batteries, which aren’t as common as they used to be, but are also seen in power tools.
Solid Waste manager J.R. Slingerland told the Laramie Boomerang the landfill just sent off its first 40-lbs. box of batteries, having collected them over the last few weeks.
After the batteries are received and sorted by Laramie Solid Waste staff, they are shipped to one of Call2Recycle’s four sorting partners across the country, where they are further sorted by chemical type to be processed into items like substrate.
Call2Recycle first reached out to the city about the program, and Slingerland said it was perfect timing.
“We were getting quite a few calls about it,” he said. “People have been collecting those types of batteries and wondering the best way to get those recycled. Unfortunately, we didn’t have an option here if they were out of the device, but now there’s an option.”
Rechargeable batteries inside or built into recyclable electronic items like old cell phones, laptops, MP3 players or game consoles do not need to be removed, as they can be recycled through the E-waste program.
Slingerland pointed out through the E-Waste program, the city kind of had a way to recycle the batteries before, “but if you changed batteries and then had a loose recyclable battery, there really wasn’t an option.”
“Our E-Waste recycler did not want those batteries loose, because lithium-ion batteries can start a fire during transportation,” Slingerland said.
Not all batteries will be accepted for recycling, including potentially eligible rechargeable batteries that are broken, leaking or swollen. Unaccepted batteries will go into Laramie’s landfill.
Single-use batteries, like commonly-used AA, AAA or C and D batteries, are not accepted through the program. Most single-use battery major manufacturers have started making batteries “so they are safe to dispose of in the landfill,” Slingerland said.
“Here in Laramie, we do send those to our lined cell, so if there is anything that leeches off, it gets captured in our leachate containment system,” he added.
For more information about recyclable items, visit the city’s website www.cityoflaramie.org/267/Landfill or by calling the Solid Waste division at 721-5279.