RBC, Canadian Battery Association team up to support battery retrieval from remote Canadian communities

Toronto, Canada (March 19, 2019) – Pledging to support the retrieval and recycling of used vehicle batteries from hundreds of remote communities across Canada, the U.S.-based nonprofit Responsible Battery Coalition (RBC) and the Canadian Battery Association (CBA) recently met with First Nations representatives in northern Manitoba to join forces in managing used vehicle batteries in an environmentally responsible manner.

The initiative brings together the RBC’s 2 Million Battery Challenge and CBA’s battery Stewardship program, and was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations. Eleven First Nations communities from Manitoba signed commitments to participate in the joint program.

“By joining forces with the Canadian Battery Association and First Nations we are able to support the proper management of used vehicle and equipment batteries, and actively help retrieve batteries for recycling from the farthest reaches of Manitoba,” said Steve Christensen, executive director of RBC. “This program sets a great model for the rest of Canada.”

The RBC is a coalition of companies, academics and organizations committed to the responsible management of the batteries of today and tomorrow. RBC created and sponsors the 2 Million Battery Challenge, a program designed retrieve and recycle two million used vehicle batteries. The CBA represents the Canadian lead-acid battery industry, and has been actively promoting stewardship of lead-acid batteries in Canada since 2010.

“Our issues and products, and most of our members, cross international and cultural boundaries,” Christensen said, “so the opportunity to bring additional educational, transportation and recycling resources from the U.S. into Canada’s program makes good sense for everyone.”

CBA Executive Director Colin McKean said he was pleased to join forces with RBC and expand his organization’s ability to support First Nations communities in responsible vehicle battery management.

“With 63 First Nations in Manitoba alone, we believe there are potentially tens of thousands of used vehicle batteries in these communities that need to be isolated from the environment and transported to recycling centers,” McKean said. Since 2010, CBA has retrieved and recycled approximately 2.6 million vehicle batteries in Manitoba.

McKean noted that collecting and removing batteries from remote communities is challenging due to the long winter season, minimal road access to some communities, and only winter road access to many.

“It’s really great that most of the 11 communities signing pledges in Manitoba are among the most challenging, the ones that will require the most help from us,” McKean said. “We have a lot of vehicle batteries going into these communities, so we want to do everything we can to help them protect their local environment by properly managing and recycling used lead-acid batteries.”
Christensen said the RBC and CBA will begin working together immediately to support and expand CBA’s existing battery retrieval and recycling program.

Responsible Battery Coalition is a coalition of companies, academics and organizations committed to the responsible management of the batteries of today and tomorrow. RBC was created in April 2017 to advance the responsible production, transport, sale, use, reuse, recycling and resource recovery of transportation, industrial and stationary batteries and other energy storage devices. Current members are Johnson Controls, Ford Motor Co., O’Reilly Auto Parts, LafargeHolcim, Canadian Energy, Walmart, Honda Motor Co., AutoZone, Club Car, Advance Auto Parts, FedEx Express, Renova Energy, Battery Solutions and TerraCycle. For more information: https://www.responsiblebatterycoalition.org/

The Canadian Battery Association was established in 1970 by the Canadian manufacturers of lead-acid batteries. The goal of the CBA is to be the voice of the lead-acid battery industry in Canada. Our mission is to provide information, advocacy and member-benefits that supports the responsible management of lead-acid batteries from Coast to Coast to Coast. As an Industry Association representing its members, we believe in:
• Proactive regulatory education, dialogue and industry advocacy;
• Confidential data collection and collated information sharing; and,
• A level-playing field and a “Free Market” for lead-acid batteries.

For more information: info@canadianbatteryassociation.ca

Photo captions: RBC, CBA and leaders from 11 First Nations communities from Manitoba celebrate the joint effort to retrieve and recycle used vehicle batteries from remote Canadian communities.

RBC Executive Director Steve Christensen (left) shakes hands with CBA Executive Director Colin McKean after signing MOU.