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Curbside battery collection in November, bid to push back 2015 brush pick-up

Posted April 16, 2014

Simcoe County's waste management program will for the first time, include a curbside battery collection week, this year between Nov. 3-7, at a cost of $65,000.

A staff report to County councillors estimates the collection will capture approximately 525,000 batteries, and its timing coincides "with the end of daylight savings time when fire departments promote changing smoke alarm batteries."

Simcoe County residents will receive plastic zipper seal bags, with the program information, through the mail over the next few months, to store the discarded batteries, which at the time of collection are to be placed at the curb with the recycling box on the regular day of curbside pick-up.

Acceptable batteries will include single-use alkaline-manganese, carbon zinc and zinc air dry cell batteries in AA, AAA, C, D, 9 Volt sizes and button batteries including hearing aid and watch batteries. Unacceptable batteries are rechargeable batteries NiCad, NiMH, or Lithium Ion (cell phone, laptop, etc.), car batteries, industrial batteries or battery packs. 

"Multi-residential locations which utilize caddy cart collection service will not be eligible for the battery collection due to logistical issues," according to the report. "Staff notes that information on a free program will be provided to interested multi-residential locations as an alternative to assist them in managing batteries generated by their residents."

A second report related to waste management recommends moving the annual Spring yard waste collection be pushed back two weeks starting in 2015.

This year's collection, which will take place over the next eight weeks, is already underway. The fall collection lasts 10 weeks. The nod to begin two weeks later is weather related, in particular the record levels of snow this past winter, and cold spells which is resulting in a late spring, "which will affect the annual yard maintenance activities."

"Staff has considered the yard waste collection dates for this spring and determined that, as we have already advertised the dates, the most reasonable course of action is to maintain the advertised dates this year," according to the report. "While it is likely that collected tonnages will be light in the first few weeks of collection this year, due to the current weather conditions, we anticipate some materials to be collected such as Christmas trees which were buried by significant snowfall in early January and which are now becoming visible and yard waste which has been stored over winter by residents."

The proposed schedule changes need to happen well in advance because the County publishes an annual collection calendar, and requires public notice.

"Two years ago, temperatures were in the high 20's during March, this year we are experiencing the opposite end of the spectrum.  The County also covers a large geographic area resulting in considerable variation in the amount of snow from the north to the south; adding complexity to the scheduling of collections."

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