When it comes to environment protection, some of our region's top champions are in the youngest age group.
Recently, a group of students from Shuswap Middle School made a difference by keeping waste out of our landfills. They have also set an example that all CSRD residents can follow − everyone in the region can be recycling their batteries.
Staff and students embarked on a used-battery collection contest with a plan to be proactive in addressing a local environmental issue that can affect everyone.
In the end, the students collected more than 1,500 pounds of used batteries.
"This is a major amount of batteries that will not go to the local landfill and we are celebrating. We know this took a lot of parental support and we appreciate the help with this awesome effort," says Shuswap Middle School Principal Sydney Griffith. She noted what the students learned in a recent school blog post:
Why is recycling batteries so important anyway?
Here is what we have found out here at SMS:
1) Batteries decay & rot! Batteries begin to rot in landfill sites quite quickly. The chemicals leak into the ground, which cause soil and water pollution. When chemicals contaminate soil and water then animals, humans and the environment can be seriously harmed.
2) Batteries can catch fire! If we send our batteries out in the trash they can cause a fire in the truck or in the landfill. Of course, landfill fires can cause serious large scale air pollution. By recycling our batteries through a battery recycler, we can avoid this fire risk for our community.
3) There are expensive and useful materials in batteries! Recycling our batteries reduces the need for raw materials and conserves resources. Battery production relies on materials such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. The iron in all battery types is recovered to make new goods. The cadmium recovered from nickel-cadmium batteries is used to make new batteries. The nickel in nickel-metal hydride batteries is recovered to make steel. Cobalt, nickel, and copper can be recovered from lithium batteries.
Once collected, the school looked on the Call2Recycle website for the closest drop-off location and took all the batteries to the depot at the Salmon Arm Landfill for recycling.
The CSRD has battery recycling collection points located throughout the region, which can be found through this link or at the list below:
- Staples, 360 Trans Canada Hwy SW, Salmon Arm
- Vella Radio, 810 Trans Canada Hwy SW, Salmon Arm
- The Source, 1151 10 Avenue SW, Salmon Arm
- Canadian Tire, 1151 10 Avenue SW, Salmon Arm
- RONA, 2430 Highway 1 West, Salmon Arm
- Salmon Arm Landfill, 4290 20 Avenue SE, Salmon Arm
- Skimikin Transfer Station, 2281 Skimikin Road, Tappen
- Glenemma Transfer Station, 3125 McTavish Road, Glenemma
- 3591 McLean-Sawmill Road, Malakwa
- Parson Transfer Station, 3583 Hwy 95, Parson
- Seymour Arm Transfer Station, 1815 Quast Road, Seymour Arm
- Sicamous Landfill, 950 2 Mile Road, Sicamous
- Trout Lake Transfer Station, 5100 Hwy 31, Trout Lake
- Scotch Creek Transfer Station, 3508 Squilax-Anglemont Road, Scotch Creek
- Falkland Transfer Station, 2830 Wetaskiwin Road, Falkland
- Revelstoke Bottle Depot, 97 Cartier Street, Revelstoke
- Pharmasave, 307 West Victoria Road, Revelstoke
- Save-On-Foods, 555 Victoria Road, Revelstoke
- The Source, 455 Victoria St Unit #10, Revelstoke
- ListenUp! Canada, 305 1st St. W, Revelstoke
- Revelstoke Builders Supply, 201 Campbell Avenue, Revelstoke
- Revelstoke Landfill, 330 Westside Road, Revelstoke
- RONA, 912 - 15th Street, Golden
- The Source, 1106- 10th Ave South, Golden
- Golden Home Building Centre, 909 11th Ave South, Golden
- Telus, 1101 11th Avenue, Golden
- Golden Landfill, 350 Golden-Donald Upper Road, Golden
Outside the CSRD:
- Enderby Return-It Recycling Depot, 904 Belvedere Street, Enderby
- Armstrong Bottle Depot, 3730 Pleasant Valley Road, Armstrong
Photo: Students from Jaimie Vezina's Grade 6/7 class, who spearheaded the contest and was the class who collected the most batteries for recycling. (Photo courtesy of Jaimie Vezina)