My campaign launched a household battery recycling program today that will make it easier for constituents to personally be good stewards of our planet. Many kinds of batteries contain heavy metals and other toxic chemicals that, left to rot in a landfill, will one day contaminate our soil and pollute our water. By providing a place where household batteries with hazardous waste material can be properly disposed, we are doing a small part to leave our planet in better shape for our kids and our grandkids.
I launched this initiative in light of the City of Wheaton's decision to cut their highly successful battery recycling program, which recycled over eight tons of used batteries in just eleven months of existence. Tight budgets come and go with boom times and recessions. What doesn't change, however, is the need to protect our resources from hazardous waste. While it's understandable that cities and towns, not to mention the U.S. government, need to cut back spending during recessions, there's no reason important programs like battery recycling need not exist at all.
This is where private initiatives by local citizens come in. Despite the downturn in our economy, communities and organizations across the country are leading the charge in recycling batteries. Last year saw a 6.9% increase in overall battery recycling collection, despite fewer battery purchases and the toughest economy in decades. When communities and individuals in America take it upon themselves to accomplish what is necessary and right, there is no limit to what they can do. The lack of local or federal funding for a needed environmental program should not, and will not, stop us in Wheaton.