Bolstering Battery Sustainability

Situated outside the Humanities building, the Recycling Club continued their sustainability mission last Thursday, April 7.

After the success of RecycleMania, they are moving onto educating the student body about a largely unknown issue: how to recycle electronics. They began their mission with “Donuts for Batteries.”

According to Dana Moss, public relations officer for the Recycling Club, recycling electronics is an issue most people are unaware of. According to Moss, most people do not know how to recycle their old cell phone or car batteries.

“It’s important to become aware of where you can recycle these batteries,” said Moss.

Members of the club were offering free Dunkin Donuts to anyone on campus who would sign the recycling electronics sustainability pledge. After signing the recycling electronics sustainability pledge, students were asked to take pictures with their pledge in hand.

Lauren Brois, president and recycling coordinator of the Recycling Club, said that the club decided to hand out donuts because they were “more appealing and the table was set up right next to Jazzman’s.”

According to Brois, a lot of people stopped by their table in between classes. Most people were not aware of how to recycle batteries and how big of an issue it was. By the end of the day, more than 100 people had signed their pledge.

These photos will be posted on the New Paltz Recycles Facebook page.

Informational material was available for all students at the table as well. According to the material provided by the club, “Batteries are easily recycled, and it is important to recycle them because they contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals.”

Car batteries can be grinded, have their acid neutralized and have polymers separated from the lead in them. The Recycling Club informational material provides students with places that provide these services for free such as Autozone and Advanced Auto Parts in New Paltz. Regular dry cell batteries can be recycled in stores such as Best Buy and Office Depot.

Martin Duffy, a Recyling Club member, said regular batteries are permanently dead because of the electrochemical reaction that takes place.

There was also a pamphlet distributed by the Recycling Club that educated students about the composition of the typical consumer electric battery.

Duffy said students were not aware of the amount of material in the batteries. For example, in all Energizer and Duracell batteries, the electrodes are made of manganese-oxide with an alkaline electrode. Mercury is also present in many types of batteries.

“We have set up bins to recycle batteries in all the residence halls in the RA’s office,” said Kelly Drummond, vice president of the Recycling Club.

The Recycling Club will be collecting batteries again at the Earth Day Carnival on Friday, April 22. They meet every Monday at 7 p.m. in Student Union 402. For more information please visit their blog at: