Battery “Recycling” in Ontario


In December 2014, a proposal to change Ontario's battery program to count slag from incinerating batteries as 'recycling' was rejected by Waste Diversion Ontario. Thanks to the many enviro groups who pushed for better recycling!

Starting in January 2014, TEA led a coalition of environmental and health organizations to oppose a new battery recycling program for Ontario because it uses a lower definition of "recycling". 

TEA outlined objections to Waste Diversion Ontario and the Minister of the Environment. See the details of our concerns in the letters linked below in Tools & Resources.

Research and consultation into what exactly 'recycling' means for batteries, different recycling technology and how to count recycling 'efficiency' took place over the summer and fall.

Ultimately, Waste Diversion Ontario couldn't say that the different recycling methods performed the same way, and thus couldn't approve the new proposal.



The Ontario Waste Diversion Act sets out rules for how waste is handled and recycled in Ontario. This includes regulations that require companies and producers to take responsibility for the waste created by the products they sell through Product Stewardship Programs. Waste Diversion Ontario is the agency set up by the Province to oversee and approve Product Stewarship programs.

Ontario's battery stewardship program organizes battery producers and recyclers to collect and recycle single-use batteries at a recycler in Southern Ontario.

A new battery stewardship program was proposed by a competing recycling coalition called Call2Recycle that claims it would recycle more batteries. Unfortunately, the Call2Recycle battery recycling program uses a different, lower, definition of recycling that would count the incinerator ash as part of the 'recycling' target, even though the current recycler has a higher standard of recycling that doesn't rely on incineration.