In 2007, while driving through Northern California, I heard a public service announcement on a radio station somewhere in the Sierras east of Sacramento. The local waste-disposal company in whatever town it was (Placerville? Jackson?) was reminding residents to place all discarded batteries in plastic bags and leave them on the top of their garbage cans. The trash collectors would then take the batteries, segregate them from the rest of the landfill/recyclable trash, and consign them to whatever afterlife old batteries are supposed to go to.
Upon my return to Santa Barbara. I called BFI/Allied and told them of this remarkably simple solution to the “What do we do with old batteries?” question. A nice man who identified himself as the general manager said he was willing to recommend this on a trial basis. I guess he was shot down by his colleagues or forgot or something. To date, nothing has been done in that regard and Santa Barbarans and other South Coast residents continue to toss old batteries out in the regular trash, thereby buggering things up for eons. So I’d like to throw this nifty idea out there once again to the good folk at BFI/Allied Waste and MarBorg.—John Dell, Santa Barbara