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Rayovac Draws Ire for Refusal on TX Battery Recycling

PHOTO: More than two-dozen groups from across Texas and the nation are calling on Rayovac to join in efforts to increase the recycling of old batteries, as their competitors are doing. In landfills, toxins from batteries can leach into the soil and water, threatening public and environmental health. CREDIT: Dean Johnson
PHOTO: More than two-dozen groups from across Texas and the nation are calling on Rayovac to join in efforts to increase the recycling of old batteries, as their competitors are doing. In landfills, toxins from batteries can leach into the soil and water, threatening public and environmental health. CREDIT: Dean Johnson
August 1, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas - One of the nation's largest battery makers is being urged to plug in when it comes to recycling efforts in the state and across the country. Andrew Dobbs, program director, Texas Campaign for the Environment, said Duracell, Energizer and Panasonic are taking part in efforts to increase the recycling of batteries, but Rayovac has refused to get on board.

"Their competitors support goals very much like this, and we want Rayovac to join with them - and, in fact, even move beyond them - and to lead this effort in Texas and around the world," Dobbs said.

In all, more than two dozen organizations are now calling for Rayovac to provide recycling for their batteries in Texas and to set meaningful goals for those collections.

Rayovac has several options to get involved, Dobbs said.

"One aspect that's possible is that they would end up supporting existing local household hazardous waste programs, helping to subsidize those programs so that local governments and local taxpayers don't have to foot those bills. They would also probably partner with retailers and could establish something with a national nonprofit," he explained.

Keeping batteries of out of landfills, where they can leach toxins and contaminate soil and water, said Dobbs, is vital to both environmental and public health.

"Rechargeable batteries are toxic, with chemicals like cadmium in them, which are carcinogenic and cause developmental problems. Alkaline batteries, which are the AA, AAA and that sort of thing, those batteries are corrosive. So, if we can recycle these, we can cut down on the waste in our landfills and we can protect our land and our water," he said.

As of deadline, Rayovac had not responded to a request for comment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away more than 3 billion batteries each year.

More information is available at www.texasenvironment.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX