Posts Tagged ‘Call2Recycle’

Guest Blog – Promoting the Business Case for Product Stewardship

Posted by GlobalPSC at 1:17 pm, December 7th, 2016Comments0

helen_lewis_prodstewardship_cover-1

 

The Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is Dr Helen Lewis, Principal of Helen Lewis Research and author of Product Stewardship in Action.

 

Product stewardship is often promoted as an environmental strategy for companies, or as an effective public policy solution to the costs of waste and recycling.

During my research and in-depth discussions with industry practitioners over the past few years, the broader benefits and value of product stewardship to business have become clear. Companies that understand the environmental and social impacts of their products; engage with stakeholders through genuine and open dialogue; and then implement appropriate strategies; can create shared value for themselves and their stakeholders. This applies whether the company is taking individual action or collaborating with industry peers.

Product stewardship in action: the business case for lifecycle thinking (Greenleaf UK) builds on my own experiences in eco-design, recycling and product stewardship. It would not have been possible, however, without the generosity of those I interviewed. Russ Martin, CEO of the GlobalPSC, supported this project from the beginning, provided useful information and insights, and connected me to local and international practitioners.

GlobalPSC members feature in some of the detailed case studies, including Call2Recycle (batteries and mobile phones), Vinyl Council of Australia (PVC packaging, medical products, flooring etc.), TechCollect (TVs and computers) and Close the Loop (printer cartridges). Other members, such as the Product Stewardship Institute, Product Stewardship Society, Dell, CalRecycle, Australian Packaging Covenant, Perchards Limited and PETCO, are also included as either mini-case studies or interviews.

My heartfelt thanks to all of the people who contributed their time, knowledge and insights to the project. GlobalPSC members can purchase the book at a 30% discount – please email Russ Martin for details.

 

Guest Blog – Addressing the Challenges of Measuring Recycling Performance

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:45 pm, June 8th, 2016Comments1

The Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is Carl Smith, President and CEO of Call2Recycle, Inc.

Prior to becoming the head of a non-profit 12 years ago, I had spent most of my career with big for-profit companies where we measured everything. These measures provided continuous feedback on what was working and what needed to be fixed (or stopped). Upon arriving in the non-profit, product stewardship world, I noted that much less was measured and that organizational performance metrics were at best elusive.

One of the biggest frustrations we have is how to accurately assess the performance of our battery recycling efforts. The recycling field has typically relied on “diversion rates” as a measure; specific to battery collection and recycling, the more specific “collection rate” measure is typically used. As has been defined by the EU, battery collection rate is defined by the amount recycled in a year divided by the average annual sales of batteries for the previous three years. Like “diversion rates”, a “collection rate” is expressed as a percentage.

Traditionally, the focus of the Call2Recycle® program in the US has been on collecting and recycling rechargeable batteries. For a variety of reasons, this ‘typical’ approach to measuring our performance simply didn’t make sense.

First, fairly soon after I took this position, it became clear that rechargeable battery companies simply do not know what their consumer battery sales are into any specific jurisdiction. There are simply too many channels, applications and value chains to even estimate sales. For a very simple example, let’s look at how a big retailer like Walmart operates in the US. It purchases in vast quantities directly from a manufacturing facility in Asia. The facility transports via container ship to a West Coast port where they are then trucked to a distribution facility in a Midwestern state. Given the North American Fair Trade Agreement (NAFTA), units could also be shipped to distribution centers in Canada and Mexico. Those distributions centers then fulfill store orders on a ‘just in time’ basis. So if you asked the manufacturer how many batteries it has sold in, for instance, the state of Vermont, it won’t know. It sold to Walmart and where they actually appeared in the US market is a mystery to them.

Second, the rechargeable batteries we’re collecting today are likely 5, 10 or even 20 years old. On average, they were certainly not sold during the three-year window that a typical collection rate calculation would measure. A related issue to this is the general inclination that consumers “hoard” electronics and batteries long after their useful life. How many old cellphones do you have sitting in a drawer? When is the last time you used your first power tool?

These issues are particularly difficult for rechargeable batteries which generally last longer than primary batteries, are hoarded more (with the products they power) and are sold through much more complex value chains. So the conventional approach to assessing our performance using a collection rate just didn’t work.

We commissioned a study to see if we could develop a methodology that was repeatable, credible and defensible that would provide us more insight into this issue. When we started the study, we focused on two stages:,

  1. develop a way of accurately measuring battery sales; and
  2. adjust sales for the lifespan of the batteries.

The more we immersed ourselves into this subject, a third issue emerged that was in the initial research requirements.

Increasingly, rechargeable batteries are designed so that they cannot be easily removed by the consumer, which generally means that they are not typically available to be recycled. Cellphones, tablets and laptops are the most obvious examples of this. But how about electric toothbrushes and cordless shavers? Even when the host product is recycled by, let’s say, an electronics recycler, the batteries are not typically the material most coveted in the process. Therefore, even if they are technically recycled with the host product, the process has not often been optimized to reclaim the precious material in the battery.

We maintain that embedded batteries are not generally available for collection by a battery stewardship program and should be excluded from the calculation of “collection rate”. So we added a third stage of this research: adjust sales downward by the amount of embedded batteries in order to determine an accurate assessment of the amount of batteries truly available for collection.

The outcome of this research – the paper available via this link– shows our results. It gives us a new denominator called “available for collection” that would replace the EU standards of the average of the last three years’ sales. In the end, we now say:

Collection Rate = Batteries Collected / Sales (Lifespan) – Embedded Batteries

In addition to the important data generated through this research, we came away with four important observations consistent with the conversation above:

  • For primary batteries, battery sales from “bricks and mortar” retail locations are less and less of the total market. There are many more diverse channels for batteries to enter the marketplace including, in particular, on-line markets.
  • A new method for measuring collection rates is needed for rechargeable batteries to measure collection performance. Such a method must meaningfully capture longer battery and product lifecycles and increases in embedded batteries.
  • While some but not all of the products that rechargeable batteries power are managed through other stewardship programs, they are generally getting “lost” in tracking performance.
  • It is imperative that collection programs incorporate long product lifecycles into their funding models, as batteries remain in market long after they are sold.

The last point is notable. Most battery stewardship programs charge stewards based on sales into the market. However, there may be a 20-year lag time between when steward fees are paid on a sale and when we incur the cost to collect and recycle the battery from that sale. This puts a strain on funding models that are often forced to minimize reserves that might take care of the long-term “tail” associated with rechargeable batteries.

In the end, we felt we “moved the needle” on creating a better way to measure performance. We also added to the conversation on the issues associated with battery collection and recycling. But we don’t believe we’ve totally solved the challenges, hopefully giving others the opportunity to contribute to this discussion.

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council.  

Carl E. Smith is President and CEO of Call2Recycle, Inc., North America’s leading product stewardship organization. With more than 35 years’ experience in environmental issues, program development, advocacy, corporate communications and technology, Carl is a nationally and internationally recognized spokesperson and leader in the corporate responsibility, sustainability and product stewardship arena. Carl leads the Atlanta-based non-for-profit organization in its efforts to help preserve the environment through responsible recycling of batteries among other products. Carl is also a GlobalPSC Executive Committee member and our Treasurer.

 

Call2Recycle Set New Battery Recycling Records in 2015

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:16 pm, January 31st, 2016Comments1

 

Call2Recycle has reported that their collections increased five per cent during 2015 to a record 12.6 million pounds (5.7 million kilograms).

Since collections began in 1996, Call2Recycle has produced a year-over-year increase in the volume of batteries diverted from landfills and recycled for 19 consecutive years. Call2Recycle credits strong, collaborative relationships as the foundation for increasing consumer awareness and driving growing collection volumes. More than 90 percent of residents in the U.S. and Canada live within 10 miles (15 kilometers) of one of Call2Recycle’s public drop-off locations.

Over 7.1 million pounds (3.2 million kilograms) of batteries were collected in the U.S. in 2015, with the great lake states and mountain regions showing the greatest growth (12 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively). California collected more than 1 million pounds (0.45 million kilograms) of batteries for the 5th consecutive year.

Nearly 5.5 million pounds (2.5 million kilograms) of batteries were collected in Canada in 2015. Collections in British Columbia saw a 36 per cent increase in collections from last year, for a total of almost 1.4 million pounds (630,000 kilograms) of batteries.

“Our battery recycling results are directly linked to the vital support of our program participants, consumers and key constituents,” said Carl Smith, CEO & president of Call2Recycle. “Without their environmental commitment, we would not be able to continue collecting, and arguably become one of the most successful recycling programs in North America.”

 

GlobalPSC Expands Board for Greater Program and North American Coverage

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:22 pm, December 18th, 2015Comments2

The GlobalPSC Executive Committee (Board) recently expanded its coverage to include more members with practical program experience in implementing North American product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) approaches in addition to further deepening its policy expertise. These additions were reaffirmed and complemented by the Board and GlobalPSC members during our recent Annual General Meeting (AGM). These changes will further the GlobalPSC vision of facilitating the development and implementation of effective product stewardship schemes globally.

Recently, the Board expanded its coverage to include David Lawes (BC Used Oil Management Association), Kylie Hughes (Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection) and Mark Kurschner (Product Care Association). During the AGM, Carl Smith (Call2Recycle) was also appointed to the Board. All Board appointments, including long-serving members Scott CasselGarth Hickle and Ed Cordner were affirmed during the AGM and are valid for one year.

The GlobalPSC Board recognises the invaluable contributions of Neil Hastie during his years of service on the Board and as President. Neil has elected to step back from his GlobalPSC duties to focus on other pursuits. Neil has our continued appreciation and support.

During the AGM, the following Board members were elected as office-holders for one-year terms:

The President’s Report and Financial Report from the AGM are available to members.

 

GlobalPSC Members Support Product Stewardship in California

Posted by Brett Giddings at 8:01 pm, November 24th, 2015Comments1

 

San Francisco

On November 4th GlobalPSC members CalRecycle, Call2Recycle and PaintCare joined the California Product Stewardship Council and a range of government and industry representatives to provide perspectives on the role of legislation in driving product stewardship for household hazardous waste (HHW).

In a hearing held by the California Assembly Select Committee on Waste Reduction & Recycling in 21st Century California, participants expressed support for well-considered extended producer responsibility (EPR) to be trialled and ultimately introduced in the state for HHW; including batteries, used pharmaceuticals and sharps. The ubiquity of many HHW products and the potential threats they pose to the environment and human health were highlighted at the hearing, with estimates of approximately 600 million pounds being landfilled in the state each year.

With a ‘patchwork’ of ordinances being introduced in counties throughout the state, many agreed that state-wide EPR programs, underpinned by appropriate legislative frameworks, and managed by relevant industry bodies, would provide a more effective and efficient solution.

The hearing can viewed in full via this video posted by the California Product Stewardship Council.

 

Call2Recycle 2014 Annual Report

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:20 pm, May 21st, 2015Comments1

20th Anniversary Badge

Call2Recycle®, North America’s most successful battery collection program, has released its 2014 Annual Report. Call2Recycle attributes their 20 years of growth directly back to the investment of time, money and ideas by their stewards, partners and stakeholders. Two historic milestones are noted for 2014: cumulative battery collections of 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) and 18 years of year-over-year increases in the volume of batteries collected. Other highlights include:

  • In 2014, Call2Recycle diverted nearly 12 million pounds (5.4 million kilograms) of batteries and cellphones from landfills
  • Battery collections in California topped more than 1 million pounds (454,000 kilograms) for the 3rd straight year
  • Collections in Canada reached over 2.2 million kilograms (4.4 million pounds) of batteries collected, and the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec recorded double-digit collection growth

 

Webinar – Battery Stewardship Developments in the U.S. A Joint Government and Industry Regulatory Solution for Single Use + Rechargeable Batteries

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:52 pm, October 2nd, 2014Comments3

The United States is on the verge of breakthrough legislation for both primary (single-use) and rechargeable batteries. This shift from a voluntary approach to a regulatory approach covering both battery types has coalesced over the past six months, as an increasing number of government agencies have expressed interest in a legislative solution to household battery management. This webinar will discuss the unique differences between the single-use and rechargeable battery industries, key issues that are being addressed to find a unified legislation solution, explore lessons for other countries such as Australia (where consultation is underway on a national battery stewardship scheme), and outstanding challenges faced by US state and local governments, manufacturers, retailers, and other key stakeholders in the year ahead.

The date of the webinar is:

  • if attending from Australia – Nov. 6th at 9 a.m. EST
  • if attending from the US – Nov. 5th at 7 p.m. EST.

Moderated by Scott Cassel, CEO & Founder, Product Stewardship Institute.

Speakers will include:

  • Marc Boolish, Director of Technology, Energizer Battery Manufacturing Inc, and President, Corporation for Battery Recycling
  • Carl Smith, CEO/President, Call2Recycle
  • Jen Holliday, Compliance Program and Product Stewardship Manager, Chittenden County, Vermont
  • Garth Hickle, Product Stewardship Team Leader, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Introduction by Russ Martin, CEO, Global Product Stewardship Council and Independent Chair, Australia’s Battery Implementation Working Group.

Register here.

Registration is free for Australian residents thanks to our sponsors the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI), TES-AMMQueensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and Canon, in partnership with the GlobalPSC. For details on how to register at no charge please contact Russ Martin at russ@globalpsc.net.

Handheld Battery Product Stewardship Project Update

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:59 pm, January 29th, 2014Comments1

The Battery Implementation Working Group (BIWG) formed to support the development of a handheld battery product stewardship scheme for Australia has released their first project communique. The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection leads the development of the scheme and provides Secretariat support for the BIWG. GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin serves as the Independent Chair.

The BIWG comprises representation from:

Retailers, brand owners, battery manufacturers and other stakeholders have been invited to participate during the development of the scheme. The GlobalPSC has been active in the scheme’s development, including stakeholder consultations and gaining overseas perspectives from experts at Call2Recycle, Energizer and P&G. GlobalPSC Foundation Members MS2 led the development of the business and public policy case for battery stewardship on behalf of SV.

The BIWG is developing a discussion paper on key issues for the design of the product stewardship scheme, including objectives, principles, scope, management, funding, targets and performance indicators. The first draft of this paper will be presented to jurisdictions and broader stakeholders 19 February in Canberra.

GlobalPSC Priority Product Stewardship Workshop Presentations Available

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:50 pm, November 25th, 2013Comments4

On 18 November 2013 in Port Melbourne, Australia, the GlobalPSC brought global leaders on product-specific producer responsibility collection and reprocessing initiatives together to help identify and learn from international best practice to assist Australia’s efforts to develop national product stewardship approaches for batteries, paint and other materials. Featured international speakers included:

• Carl Smith, CEO and President, Call2Recycle (North America)
• Alison Keane, Vice President Government Affairs, American Coatings Association, on behalf of PaintCare
• Mark Kurschner, President, Product Care Association (North America)
• Corinne Faure-Rochu, Director Business Development, Recupyl (France)

An interactive panel session included these speakers and other product-specific experts on batteries and paint from the USA, UK and Australia. Full program and details are available here. A special evening function sponsored by the GlobalPSC, Sustainability Victoria and Infoactiv provided even greater access to this international line-up for GlobalPSC members.

Thanks to our speakers, sponsors and supporters, we were able to make attendance free for GlobalPSC members in proportion to their membership level.

Presentations from the workshop have been provided to attendees and are now available on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members under the Programs category in addition to being searchable in the Knowledge Base.

 

GlobalPSC Priority Product Stewardship Workshop

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:45 pm, August 30th, 2013Comments5

18 November, 2013
DHL, 18-22 Salmon St, Port Melbourne, Australia

Australia has released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. The designated products include:
• Waste paint
• End-of-life handheld batteries
• Packaging
• End-of-life air conditioners with small gas charges
• End-of-life refrigerators with small gas charges

The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Australia’s Environment Ministers have also developed plans for paint and battery product stewardship. The GlobalPSC is helping the Commonwealth and state governments facilitate the efforts for batteries and paint.

The GlobalPSC is bringing global leaders on product-specific producer responsibility collection and reprocessing initiatives to help identify and learn from international best practice to assist these efforts. Featured international speakers include:

• Carl Smith, CEO and President, Call2Recycle (North America)
• Alison Keane, Vice President Government Affairs, American Coatings Association
• Mark Kurschner, President, Product Care Association (North America)
• Corinne Faure-Rochu, Director Business Development, Recupyl (France)

Panel sessions will include these speakers and other product-specific experts on batteries and paint from the USA and Australia. A special evening function will enable even greater access to this international line-up for GlobalPSC members. Full program and details are available here.

Attendance is free for GlobalPSC members in proportion to their membership level (5 free for Sustaining Members, 2 for Standard Members and 1 for other categories) but registrations are necessary for catering. Registrations are $299 plus GST for non-members of the GlobalPSC. Event details, registration and payment information are available at http://globalpsc.eventbrite.com.au. Lunch will be provided for registered attendees.

 

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