Ten years ago, Vermont became the first state to require manufacturers to fund the recycling of single-use batteries. While larger batteries, particularly the lead-acid batteries used in cars, have had manufacturer-funded recycling programs for decades, that was not the case for the smaller batteries used in everyday electronics. When the law went into effect in 2016, the change was immediate and massive: the weight of single-use batteries collected was 19 times higher in 2016 than 2015.

But a lot has changed in the past decade, including a massive rise in the prevalence of rechargeable batteries. Act 152, a new law signed by Gov. Phil Scott in May, updates the state’s battery stewardship program to increase the types of batteries that can be recycled and makes it illegal to dump them in a landfill. Most of Act 152’s changes don’t directly affect consumers, but there are some to take note of.

As of July 1, 2024, disposing of single-use and rechargeable batteries in landfills is illegal. Previously, only the disposal of lead-acid, nickel cadmium and mercury oxide batteries was illegal. All batteries will need to be delivered to a waste collection center, which includes some retailers. Additionally, on Jan. 1, 2026, the maximum weight of batteries to be recycled will increase from 4.4 pounds to 25 pounds.

To read the full story, visit https://www.vermontpublic.org/local-news/2024-07-01/battery-recycling-is-now-mandatory-and-expanded-programs-are-on-the-way#.
Author: Corey Dockser, Vermont Public
Photo by Hilary Halliwell: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-batteries-698485/