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Recycling Questions? Ask Sonja and Helen Edition #12

Recycling Questions? Ask Sonja & Helen

Every two months, Recycling Renewal Program (RRP) Coordinators, Sonja and Helen, answer your questions on what can and cannot be recycled at Health Authority owned hospital and residential care sites.

Recycling in health care facilities is different to recycling at home or in an office. Our facilities generate biomedical waste, so our recyclables pose a higher risk to recycling vendor staff that sort items by hand. We want to help ensure you have the information you need to dispose of your waste items correctly.

Missed previous editions?

We post the recycling question and answer series with photos and posters on the BCGreenCare.ca site here.


Edition #12: Batteries

Q. Where should I dispose of batteries at Lower Mainland hospitals and residential care facilities?

Dispose of batteries in the designated battery recycling container.

Most Lower Mainland hospitals and residential care sites offer battery recycling through Call2Recycle, not-for-profit, stewardship organization committed to the safe collection, transportation and recycling of consumer batteries across Canada.

Q. What types of batteries can I recycle?

Consumer batteries that weigh less than 5kg:

·         Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)

·         Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

·         Lithium Ion (Li-ion)

·         Nickel Zinc (Ni-Cn)

·         Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb)

·         Lithium Primary

·         Alkaline (AA, AAA, 9V, etc)

And cell phones and batteries, regardless of size, make, model or age.


Q. Do I have to put all batteries in a bag before I put them in the box?

Only rechargeable batteries (Li-Ion, SSLA/Pb) and Lithium Primary batteries require a bag. The bag is required by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 and its Regulations in order to reduce potential for batteries to overheat and catch fire.


Q. Where can I find the designated battery box at my site?

Hospitals and residential care sites differ when it comes to battery recycling boxes. Some sites have battery boxes with in high generating units, while others have the boxes centrally localized. The best thing to do is to contact housekeeping to find out where the closest box is, and/or to determine if it makes sense to have a box in your unit.


Q. What happens to the batteries after they leave the facility?

Batteries from Lower Mainland facilities are sent to Trail, BC for sorting and then processing so that the useable chemicals and metals can be extracted to manufacture new products. All waste products are responsibly and safely disposed according to international standards.

Send us your questions!

Unsure about what can and can’t be recycled and why? Or do you have an inspiring story about recycling in your unit? 

Send an email to marianne.dawson@fraserhealth.ca. We will include your question in a future edition or contact you directly.