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Battery Recycling Initiative in Village Proves Popular

Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Farmyard Inn is the latest local establishment to join Sustainable Youlgrave’s battery recycling scheme in the village. SY has teamed up with the University of Sheffield to give people the opportunity to safely dispose of old and used batteries for recycling at collection points around Youlgrave:

Hollands butchers, Parkers butchers, Youlgrave Post Office, Youlgrave Garage and the Farmyard Inn.

Look for the plastic tubs with lids and an appropriate poster, and simply drop in all your spent batteries. Domestic batteries of any size or shape (from AA and AAA to watch and camera batteries) are welcome.

The collection of spent batteries is part of a pilot scheme run by the University of Sheffield, whose students are gathering data as to numbers and types of batteries that people use. Some of the collected batteries are then used for laboratory studies into recycling methods. The remains, together with any batteries not used for this purpose, are then taken to a major recycler. The University staff say they really do appreciate the participation of the people of Youlgrave and the shopkeepers, publican and garage owner who are hosting the ‘collecting stations’.

A university student has analysed the findings from both the collection and the recent Opinion Poll (see right) and has revealed some interesting facts. Around 30% of collected batteries still have good energy capacity for longer utilisation (although devices such as smoke detectors are designed to limit the voltage range too narrowly and so they signal a 'low volts' bleep/alarm when there is still a significant amount of energy in the battery!). The collection bin in Hollands butchers had the most quantity of spent batteries, followed by Youlgrave Post Office. The student concluded that the collection scheme needs about two weeks to get peoples’ initial attention, then the amount of batteries deposited rapidly increases in the third week, with the speed gently reducing after that. From the door to door survey it appears that 59% of respondents still dispose of used small batteries in normal bins, but 36% said they were using the containers in village outlets installed as part of the new scheme. Additionally, many said that now they knew of the scheme they would use it.

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