Summerland students recycle used batteries

Two billion people around the world cope with zinc deficiency, and the mortality rates are high

Me to We Club students at Summerland Secondary School are searching for your used batteries.

Why exactly would teens need dead batteries? The reason is the power they can hold, not just the power to work the remote, but to save lives.

Batteries rely on the reaction between zinc and manganese dioxide to function. Zinc also happens to be crucial in our diets.

Many people around the world aren’t able to get enough of this micronutrient, though it is essential for the body’s growth and development.

Zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system and cause diarrhea.

Two billion people around the world have to cope with zinc deficiency, and the mortality rates are high. The most impacted places are developing countries that don’t have the resources to fix these problems.

The community drive will run Jan. 10 to 24. The Facebook Summerland Zinc Saves Lives event page is up and has more information.

Keep an eye out for posters in Summerland, and advertising through various Facebook groups.

Schools will have boxes for students to bring in donations and there may be some friendly competition between classes. The main drop off location will be in the office of the Summerland Review.

The students will be tracking donations through the Zinc Saves Lives Battery Recycling Campaign. Companies involved are Teck,WE Charity and Call2Recycle, along with many students around the nation.

Vancouver-based company Teck is committed to mining responsibly. They have multiple campaigns focused on sustainable resources and are known to be one of the world’s largest zinc producers. This makes them a great place to advocate and solve problems involving zinc and our health.

For every battery recycled, Teck will donate the equivalent value of the zinc recycled to WE in support of their zinc and health program in WE villages in Kenya.

After collection, the batteries will be shipped to a sorting facility to be separated, and usable chemicals will be taken for new products.

Most importantly, all of the recycling will happen in North America, keeping this waste out of landfills.

This campaign is a reminder that doing good isn’t difficult. Students urge you to think about what you are throwing away, because a lot of the waste in landfills can be avoided.

Even after this drive is over, the club encourages Summerlanders to recycle their batteries at one of the many Call2Recycle locations found on their website.

As the new year comes around, one often hears “out with old, in with the new,” so keep this in mind, when replacing the batteries in the various objects around the house, save the old, and think of the ways to instead use these dead batteries for the lives of others.

Remember that one AA battery could save the lives of six children, instead of sitting at the landfill.

The club will be accepting single use household batteries such as AA batteries, AAA batteries, and rechargeables.

Please contact the club if you have different sizes and types than these batteries. If you have damaged or corroded batteries, please put them in a separate bag.

If you have any further questions about this campaign, please contact Kaitlyn Nightingale at kaitlynrnightingale@gmail.com.

There is also more information on the companies involved, the impacts of Zinc, and how the problem is being solved at www.zincsaveslives.com

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