Atlanta-based battery recycling organization Call2Recycle collected and recycled 8.4 million pounds of batteries throughout the United States last year, it says—an 11% increase from 2019. The number is a record for Call2Recycle, beating 2017, its previous year of record collections, when the organization recycled 8 million pounds in the United States. Call2Recycle announced its milestone achievement in connection with National Battery Day, Feb. 18.

Call2Recycle says it commissioned a survey that revealed a robust recycling habit for consumers in 2020, despite the pandemic. “For many, being at home created opportunities to organize, clean, and manage items that may have otherwise gone overlooked—like batteries,” the organization said in its release on the findings. The survey found more than half of respondents in Vermont and California recycled all or some of their batteries last year, and more than 40% of respondents were storing all or some of their consumer batteries for a future recycling trip.

According to Call2Recycle, the organization saw a surge in the recycling of primary batteries—those designed to be used once and then discarded—with the battery type making up 3.2 million pounds of the total, a 77% increase from 2019. The retail, battery manufacturing, and healthcare sectors were major drivers of primary battery recycling at 2.3 million pounds, 1.8 million pounds, and 145,000 pounds respectively.

On the other hand, rechargeable battery recycling dropped by 10% from 2019, Call2Recycle says.

Call2Recycle has recycled more than 115 million pounds of batteries in North America since its founding in 1994 by a group of five battery manufacturers, it says. It operates more than 16,000 drop-off sites across the United States, and nearly 30,000 collection sites total.

Image credit: @john_cameron,