MARQUETTE - Batteries are easy to track down in a store and are a convenient way to power your electronic devices. But once they run out, they can be a bit trickier to dispose of.
Thanks to the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and the Marquette Community Foundation, along with a number of other organizations, area residents will soon have another option for disposing of their used alkaline, button and rechargeable batteries.
The two organizations - joined by the Marquette Food Co-op, Northern Michigan University, the Marquette County Solid Waste Authority, the Superior Watershed Partnership and the Citizens for Peace and Justice - have been working to set up a system that will allow area residents to recycle their batteries locally.
Thanks to a grant from the Marquette Community Foundation, a new battery recycling program has been established by the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and other groups. The batteries are processed at a new machine at the Marquette County Solid Waste Authority. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
"I was looking for a way to recycle batteries and reduce the need to mine precious metals," said Emily Whittaker, executive director of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. "Nobody really had anything going on."
To remedy that problem, Whittaker wrote a grant requesting funding from the Marquette Community Foundation to set up a hammer mill at the county landfill in Sands Township. The mill pulverizes alkaline batteries, allowing metals, plastics and carbon to be separated out and recycled. The $5,000 grant allowed for the purchase of a used hammer mill, which is in operation at the landfill.
For more information on the program, visit www.yellowdogwatershed.org. To volunteer with the battery pickup effort, call the Yellow Dog Watershed office at 345-9223.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.