There’s a battle over battery recycling and materials recovery processes brewing in Ontario, Canada. A proposed new battery recycling program could threaten the local industry and jobs, and impact the US environment as well.
Expanding its commitment to environmental sustainability, LEI Products’ Certified Carbonfree® Eco Alkalines Batteries™ recently partnered with Raw Materials Company (RMC) to support 100% recycling of its batteries. In addition to assessing the batteries’ full life cycle carbon emissions and neutralizing those emissions through Carbonfund.org, Eco Alkalines wanted to ensure that their battery was truly sustainable through the end-of-use and disposal portion of its life cycle.
RMC uses an innovative mechanical process that crushes the batteries to separate all of the component materials. 100% of each battery is reused and up to 92% is up-cycled. 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 greenhouse 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.
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.
But the recent revelation that Waste Diversion Ontario is actively considering a proposal by a company called Call2Recycle, which could potentially wipe out Raw Materials Company, is causing concerns ranging from potential job losses to compromised environmental standards.
Eco Alkalines Batteries™ does not support the proposal put forth by Call2Recycle to process old batteries, as they view this alternative for battery recycling as a return to more wasteful and environmentally harmful methods.
It’s also worth noting that Call2Recycle’s proposal likely would result in exporting the battery recycling, and its attendant waste and carbon dioxide emissions, to the US.
So why would Waste Diversion Ontario, be considering another option for battery recycling, especially since the Canadian government currently is considering a proposed Waste Reduction Act, Bill 91, with progressive new recycling standards?
Call2Recycle, who represents major battery players Duracell and Energizer, has historically used Pennsylvania-based smelter company INMETCO to process old batteries. Not only would a move to Care2Recycle’s proposal likely put RMC out of business, eliminating the employment of close to 50 Ontario residents in a period marked by economic instability, but also it likely would prove to be a much less environmentally sound option. 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 greenhouse 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.
Call2Recycle may be able to quote a lower bid, but the costs to the local Ontario economy and the impact on the environment may well outweigh the perceived benefit of a reduction in Canada’s government spending. Carbonfund.org joins Eco Alkalines Batteries ™ in supporting innovative product recycling, reclamation and reuse developed by companies like Raw Materials Company.
Eco Alkalines™ Batteries are pleased to announce their upcoming product launch with Best Buy Canada, the nation’s fastest growing retailer of consumer electronics. Best Buy Canada, a specialty retailer and e-tailer of consumer electronics, personal computers and entertainment, shares Eco Alkalines™ vision for creating and supplying sustainable businesses and communities.
Best Buy is strongly committed to doing it share in protecting the planet and conserving the earth’s resources. As an electronics retailer company, Best Buy feels a responsibility to prevent old and unwanted electronics from making their way to Canadian landfills. In the spring of 2013, select Best Buys stores across Canada teamed up and collected more than 37,000 pounds of e-waste of local residents. Additionally, every Best Buy location in Canada offers in-store recycling where customers can recycle everything from batteries and cell phones to printers and TVs. Best Buy is also committed to offering a wide range of sustainable products such as Eco Alkalines™ batteries.
Like Best Buy Canada, Eco Alkalines™ batteries are a Canadian company committed to environmental sustainability and green innovation. Eco-Alkalines™ batteries are environmentally friendly and landfill safe. They are manufactured with earth friendly derivatives and contain 0% trace amounts of harmful metals such as Mercury, Cadmium and Lead. They have been certified as Carbonfree® by Carbonfund.org Foundation and NSF Sustainability and can be used to count towards prerequisites and credits in LEED certified building projects and building operation.
"Certification sets us apart from our competitors," says Lalonde. "We are currently the world's only disposable alkaline battery with this certification. We have found that certification has helped to increase our market share and create customer and brand loyalty among consumers who are seeking to purchase and use eco-friendly products."
Carbonfree® certification also lends credibility to Eco Alkalines™, a relatively newer brand, in a marketplace of well-known battery products. "Although many products claim to be ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly,’ these terms are often used loosely or without a clear description of what that means. We wanted third-party verification from two trusted and recognizable organizations – Carbonfund.org and NSF International - so that consumers would understand and have faith in our green claims," added Lalonde.
In addition to their innovative and unique green credentials and applications, Eco Alkalines™ batteries have excelled in performance and longevity tests, consistently demonstrating that Eco Alkalines™ perform equal to or better than the leading national brands. Eco Alkalines™ have a guaranteed 5-year shelf life and a unique patented leak resistant seal ensuring that they will not leak into your devices.
Despite their pioneering eco accolades and novel technology, Eco Alkalines™ batteries are competitively priced compared to the leading national brands. As eco-friendly technology evolves to a ‘must’ rather than a choice, Eco Alkalines™ batteries offer consumers and companies a green product at market prices. Carbonfund.org is proud to partner with Eco Alkalines™ batteries and applauds this expansion of market availability through Best Buy Canada for the Certified Carbonfree® batteries.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched the newest version of the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building program at the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia this week. Since 1998, the LEED program is credited with transforming the built marketplace as the world's standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
Among the many new provisions and improvements introduced in LEED v4, carbon offsets now may be used to mitigate Scope 1 or Scope 2 emissions on a metric tonne of carbon dioxide–equivalent basis and earn LEED points – up to two points for new construction projects and up to five points for existing building projects.
This is an exciting new provision to the LEED program, and Carbonfund.org looks forward to assisting building project owners, design and construction professionals earn Scope 1 and 2 emissions neutralization points by supporting our third-party verified and validated carbon reduction projects.
Carbonfund.org visited the GreenBuild Expo hall this week, courtesy of our Certified Carbonfree® Product Certification partners at NSF Sustainability, to talk with green building product manufacturers and building project design professionals about the LEED v4 changes. We were pleased to talk with some of our business partners exhibiting there, including Certified Carbonfree® Product partner Tandus Flooring, Spiezle Architectural Group, and IceStone, LLC.
"LEED v4 is a quantum leap for LEED," commented Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "Over the past 15 years, LEED has fundamentally revolutionized how we design, construct, operate and maintain our buildings and communities. LEED has created a completely new industry of business enterprise committed to energy savings and efficiency. LEED v4 is as much a testament to the achievements of LEED project teams around the world as it is to the green building community's ambition to create significant global and local change through resource-efficient, cost-effective green buildings."
If you’re involved with new building project development or an existing building renovation, please contact Carbonfund.org to discuss earning LEED v4 points for Scope 1 and 2 emissions mitigation.
Clean water - a basic necessity for life and sustainability, yet almost 800 million people in our world still lack access to it. Carbonfund.org Certified Carbonfree® partner Nika Water not only ensures that their products’ carbon dioxide emissions are fully neutralized, but Nika uses the power of water to help bring clean water to those in need.
Five years ago, Nika took the important step to perform a life cycle assessment of their bottled water, measuring the carbon emissions required to source and transport the water, manufacture the bottles, caps, labels and packaging, deliver the water to distribution outlets, then use and recycle the empty water bottles. As each bottle of Nika Water is sold, Nika makes a corresponding donation to Carbonfund.org to neutralize the carbon emissions attributable to that bottle of water. Nika’s ongoing donations to Carbonfund.org support reforestation projects around the world that absorb carbon dioxide emissions while providing additional environmental benefits to the wildlife, habitat and communities in and around the projects.
“After extensive research, we determined that Carbonfund.org was the superior provider of carbon footprint solutions due to their professionalism, pragmatic and business friendly solutions, list of available projects and complete operational transparency ensuring that Nika was devoting its resources in a truly meaningful way,” explains Jordan Mellul, General Manager for Nika.
Now Nika has launched another project to bring a safe, clean source of water to a community in need. In the West Sumatra region of Indonesia, the community of Muntei Kecil uses the river as their primary water source, even though the unsanitary condition and poor quality of the water threatens their health. As part of Nika’s ongoing mission to use the power of water to make a positive impact, Nika is partnering with Surfaid to build a solar powered water pump with water source protection to serve the community in Muntei Kecil.
With access to clean water, the community will be able to grow and become sustainable. All Nika Water purchases participate in this project and others that Nika supports in addressing the growing need for clean, safe drinking water around the world. By directing 100% of its profits from the sale of its bottled water to alleviate water and sanitation needs in impoverished countries, Nika hopes to solve the water needs of thousands of families throughout the world. Carbonfund.org values our partnership with Nika Water and supports their efforts to reduce the global water crisis.