Third of Ontarians tossing used batteries in garbage
A pile of bottles and broken glass awaits recycling. (file)
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2012 3:36PM EDT
TORONTO -- A new survey shows a third of Ontarians are still throwing used batteries in the garbage and regular recycling bins because they either don't know they shouldn't go there, or have no idea where else to put them.
The survey for Stewardship Ontario, a not-for-profit company that runs Orange Drop, a battery recycling program, found that 35 per cent of Ontarians improperly dispose of used batteries while 33 per cent say they've done so in the past year.
Nearly half, or 47 per cent, of this group say they didn't know where else to bring the batteries while 39 per cent say they weren't even aware batteries shouldn't go into the trash.
Two out of ten respondents also argued that they didn't use enough batteries for proper disposal to matter.
But Paul Gerard, a spokesman for Stewardship Ontario, says every battery counts.
"Some batteries contain materials that are harmful to our environment if disposed of incorrectly, and it's everyone's responsibility to ensure that doesn't happen," he said in a statement.
The survey also found that young adults under age 34 were the largest age group to be unaware of proper battery recycling procedures and thus most likely to throw them in the garbage.
Nearly everyone, or 95 per cent, who confessed to throwing batteries in the trash say they would change their ways if it was easier for them to recycle.
The average Canadian household also keep on average 15 used batteries in a junk drawer for recycling but they never quite make it out the door, according to the findings.
The survey was conducted online with 1,000 adult Ontarians from Aug. 1 to 7 by Environics Research Group. No margin of error was given.
Stewardship Ontario operates more than 2,000 battery drop-off locations including retail outlets, libraries and schools throughout the province.
In 2010, the program diverted 761 tonnes of batteries from heading to landfills.