The battery recyclers

The battery recyclers

John Henderson Elementary
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

Community Coach(es): 

Recycle it, call-2-recycle

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We are the Battery Recyclers! Our group decided to learn about a topic that is not always talked about: acid pollution. We noticed that there were many batteries just thrown away on the ground or in the incorrect bins, and thought this might be because people do not know where or how to properly dispose of their batteries.

Batteries can be very dangerous if they leak acid. The acid that they leak looks like dandruff but is actually quite dangerous. If you touch the acid you can burn your skin. They can also be dangerous to the environment. Batteries contain a number of chemicals that are toxic to humans like lead, nickel, lithium, cadmium, alkaline, mercury and nickel-metal hydride. They also cause landfill fires which can release toxic gases into the atmosphere. Batteries are one of the most dangerous things in your house.

In order to teach the rest of our school about this, we prepared a presentation and a skit. We taught the students about acid pollution and how to recycle batteries properly. However, we realized that our school only had one bin available in the school office for dead batteries and did not think this would be enough to accommodate all of the students we were trying to reach. So, we contacted Call-2-Recycle and we were able to obtain four more battery collection bins which we placed in each hallway of our school. We check the boxes regularly to see if they are being used, and so far it has been a success! Finally, we thought that we would be able to collect about 8/. 10 lbs batteries, but we’ve actually collected 21 lbs so far!

While many people are discussing garbage and plastic pollution, the majority are not thinking about acid pollution. We believe that we accomplished our goal of spreading the message about acid pollution and teaching our schoolmates to put their dead batteries in the right bins. We are going to go to the recycling depot and recycle the batteries. We are going to ask Ms. Jagpal to drive us to the recycling depot near Superstore in Vancouver BC.

We had the opportunity to go to the Zero Waste Center in Vancouver and recycle all of the batteries that we have collected so far. When we were there, we had to sort through the different kinds of batteries to recycle them properly. We learned different techniques of storing batteries so that they do not leak or explode if they still have a charge, like using small baggies or using clear tape to keep them separated. We hope that you have the chance to see Zero Waste Centres in your own communities and help save our environment!

Elementary School Winner
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