Red Deer’s annual school battery drive, where students across the city compete to collect the largest number of dead batteries to keep them out of the landfill, kicks off on Monday.
The fifth annual competition aims to educate people about the risk of batteries to the environment. Batteries are considered household hazardous waste because they contain compounds such as heavy metals that have the potential to damage landfill liners and leach into groundwater.
Red Deer students collected more than 4,743 kg of dead batteries in 2012 compared to 1,900 kg from 16 participating schools in 2011.
The student body that collects the greatest weight of batteries per capita will win planetarium programming for their school. The battery drive ends on Oct. 18.
Car batteries, rechargeable batteries or lithium ion batteries, such as those used in power tools and cellphones, are not accepted in this program.
Residents can drop off batteries and other household hazardous waste for free all year at the city’s Waste Management Facility at 1709 40th Ave. (east of the Westerner Park).
The drive is hosted by the City of Red Deer and Kerry Wood Nature Centre.
For more information, call the Kerry Wood Nature Centre at 403-346-2010 or, for information on the city’s Household Hazardous Waste Program, call 403-342-8750.