The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) celebrates the passage of the Illinois Portable Battery Stewardship Act, a landmark piece of legislation that marks a significant step toward improving the collection, recycling and environmentally responsible disposal of lithium-ion batteries along with other types of portable batteries throughout the state of Illinois.

Senate Bill 3686 will establish a comprehensive framework for the collection, transportation, recycling and safe disposal of small-to-medium-sized portable batteries, particularly lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries. The bill requires those who sell or distribute covered batteries or battery-containing products in the state to implement and participate in a battery stewardship plan. This legislation aims to reduce environmental impacts, increase safety, conserve natural resources and promote the sustainable management of battery waste. Key provisions of the Illinois Portable Battery Stewardship Act include:

  • Producer Responsibility: Manufacturers of portable batteries will be required to participate in a stewardship program, ensuring they pay for the collection and disposal of these covered batteries.
  • Convenient Collection: The act mandates the creation of easily accessible collection points across the state, making it convenient for Illinois residents to responsibly dispose of used batteries.
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: To maximize the effectiveness of the program, educational initiatives will be launched to inform the public about the importance of proper battery disposal and recycling.
  • Annual Reporting: Stewardship organizations must submit annual reports detailing the overall effectiveness of the program, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Michael E. Hoffman, president and CEO of NWRA, expressed strong support for the new legislation, stating, “The passage of the Illinois Portable Battery Stewardship Act is a step in the right direction for our ongoing efforts to enhance recycling and waste management practices. We commend Sen. David Koehler (D-Peoria) and Rep. Sharon Chung (D-Bloomington) for leading this initiative.”

NWRA has long advocated for policies that promote sustainable waste management practices, and the Illinois Portable Battery Stewardship Act aligns perfectly with its mission to advance the safe and efficient recycling of hard-to-handle materials. This legislation will not only help reduce environmental pollution caused by improperly disposed batteries but also conserve valuable resources through effective recycling.

“This legislation addresses important safety concerns that were identified by the battery industry, the waste industry and local governments across the state,” stated Senate sponsor Sen. David Koehler. “By holding manufacturers accountable and providing convenient recycling options for consumers, Illinois is setting a powerful example for other states to follow,” added House sponsor Rep. Sharon Chung.

“As portable batteries become more ubiquitous in our lives, it’s imperative that states take proactive measures to get ahead of this issue. Lithium-ion batteries that are improperly managed can cause fires, leading to service delays and disruptions, increased costs for consumers and harm to facilities and workers,” stated George Kerchner, executive director of PRBA – The Rechargeable Battery Association. “This bill is a crucial first step toward addressing these significant risks.”

Christina Seibert, executive director of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, praised the act, stating, “The broad support for the Illinois Portable Battery Stewardship Act was instrumental in its successful passage and reflects the shared commitment of stakeholders throughout the battery lifecycle—including battery producers, retailers, waste and recycling companies and local governments—to the safe and responsible management of consumer batteries across all of Illinois.”

“Our world is increasingly filled with battery-powered products that have become a part of our daily lives,” said Leo Raudys, CEO of Call2Recycle. “Kudos to Illinois for passing this act that helps everyone do the right thing. Battery recycling keeps us all safe and protects our earth’s valuable resources.”

The Illinois Portable Battery Stewardship Act will take effect on January 1, 2026.

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