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Kids learn about recycling options as P.E.I. finalizes battery stewardship program

Rachel Frizzell and Cooper Fairhurst, students at Central Queens Elementary in Hunter River, demonstrate how to properly dispose of batteries.
Rachel Frizzell and Cooper Fairhurst, students at Central Queens Elementary in Hunter River, demonstrate how to properly dispose of batteries. - Josh Lewis
HUNTER RIVER, P.E.I. —

Trying to get rid of batteries can be cause for confusion.

Not for the students at Central Queens Elementary School in Hunter River. They know what to do.

The school collected 732 kilograms in batteries last year to win the provincial Battery Blitz school contest and hopes to do the same this year.

A presentation was held at the school on Thursday to mark the province’s new regulated battery stewardship program with Call2Recycle Canada, which collects and recycles batteries in P.E.I. and several other provinces.

The five-year agreement takes effect April 1 and formalizes the existing arrangement on the Island.

Call2Recycle has collected 150,000 kilograms of batteries in P.E.I. since its creation in 1997, including 28,000 last year.

“I think P.E.I.’s in a leadership role compared to the other provinces.”
-Joe Zenobio

Education is a big part of the job, said president Joe Zenobio.

“If you asked your circle of friends or relatives, how many people know that they can recycle batteries, I’d say probably half do and half don’t.

“I think the average Islander doesn’t know, so we have to work hard to do that.”

They can be dropped off at several local big box stores, as well as waste drop-off locations.

Old batteries should be stored in a bag or plastic container and kept in a warm, dry place until drop-off, Zenobio said.

At Central Queens, Environment Minister Richard Brown explained to the kids that the chemicals in batteries make them unsafe to place in the regular waste.

“It’s extremely important we do not throw any batteries in the garbage because if they’re going in the garbage, they’re going in the air.”

Deputy provincial fire marshal John Chisholm was also on hand to show the children how to change batteries, particularly in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

P.E.I. joins B.C., Manitoba and Quebec in operating approved Call2Recycle programs.

Zenobio said the Island is doing a good job of putting green first.

“I think P.E.I.’s in a leadership role compared to the other provinces.”

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