Recycled batteries get lift off island

A campaign to recycle rechargeable
batteries received a boost this week when Ritz-Carlton developer Mike Ryan
agreed to fly the used batteries off Island in his private plane.

The campaign, entitled Impact
Cayman, was launched earlier this month when electronics stores in Cayman
signed up as drop-off points for people to dispose of their
rechargeable batteries.

Mr. Ryan said if the stores or the
campaign organisers brought the batteries to his company office, he would get
them to his plane and deliver them to collection points in
the United States.

“We are not able to pick up the
batteries from the various locations, but I am happy to work with Lyle [Phipps]
and the others involved to get the batteries over to us at the Stingray
Construction office, and then onto the plane and off the island,” said Mr.
Ryan.

Mr. Phipps started the
campaign by supplying electronic stores with bins for the collection of used
rechargeable batteries and instructions and equipment for staff for safe
handling. He said he welcomed the commitment by Mr. Ryan and his Dragon Bay Foundation
to remove the batteries from Cayman.

“This commitment has afforded us
significant operational efficiencies as we work together to assist Cayman
businesses answer the call to be socially responsible,” Mr. Phipps said.

Mr. Ryan said battery recycling is
also an initiative of his Dragon Bay Foundation, set up to fund green projects
at Dragon Bay and Cayman, but he hopes it will catch on throughout the islands.

“Using the plane to transport
batteries was an easy decision to make, and is something we’ve been doing on
our own for two years. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman has also been very active
in this since we started, collecting all their used batteries from the hotel
for us to transport off the island,” Mr. Ryan said.

So far, he has transported several
hundred pounds of batteries out of Cayman on the plane. “That is an awful lot
of batteries, but not nearly enough. I started this project because it is a
real concern for all of us. If batteries are going into the landfill and not
properly controlled they could wind up leaching into the North Sound,” he said.

He added that since starting the
battery-recycling programme, he had hoped the larger community would get
involved. “I’m happy the idea of recycling batteries is catching on and glad to
be able to work with Lyle and others on this project,” he said.

“The renewed publicity the project
will generate ties in perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish. In
particular, we need to take a hard look at ways to deal with the landfill. I
believe it is vital that we do all we can to remove as much waste as possible
from the island to make Cayman safer and cleaner for everybody.

“I hope everyone in Cayman becomes
aware of what an important issue this is. Everyone can be part of the solution
and I look forward to working with others to make this a true community
effort,” he said.

The metals and chemicals in some
rechargeable batteries are considered hazardous to health. With no island-wide
recycling programme to deal with batteries from cameras, computers, power tools
and other devices, the toxic batteries end up in the landfill.

Two stores, Funky Tang’s and
Brandsource Home Gallery, have signed up with Mr. Phipps to be drop-off points
for rechargeable batteries.

“I would like to thank Funky Tang’s
and Brand Source Cayman for taking initiative to reduce their impact by being
collection locations for rechargeable batteries. Cayman companies can reduce
their social and economic costs, such as voluminous packaging and hazardous
waste ‘byproducts’ like rechargeable batteries, when they commit to consider
these costs as a standard factor in all business decisions,” Mr. Phipps said.

He added: “I challenge all Cayman
business leaders to publicly demonstrate their genuine commitment to keeping
Cayman’s God-given land and waters healthy and to educate others in the
process.”

Anyone with the following types of
batteries can drop them off at Funky Tang’s on Shedden Road, Brandsource Home
Gallery on Dorcy Drive, or Stingray Construction on West Bay Road: Nickel
Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel
Zinc (Ni-Zn), and Small Sealed Lead (SSLA/Pb).

1 COMMENT

  1. You can also Drop off bigger Battries to Cayman Recycling @ Seymour drive better know as dump road or call 9173208 for direction. We will prepare ship it out of the country with in fifteen day for free.

  2. The recycling centre operated by James Moore has shipped over 1 million pounds of scrap metal off the island including batteries.You can call 769-9995 to have a pickup at your home or business. They recycle not just Batteries but also windows, wires, cans,& auto parts just to name some items.

  3. Everyone should welcome the launching of a campaign entitled, ‘Impact Cayman,’ when electronic stores signed up to be collection points for the disposal of rechargeable batteries. Ritz-Carlton developer Mike Ryan must also be congratulated on his willingness to use his private plan to transport the batteries to collection points in the USA.

    It is noted from your report that so far, Mr. Ryan has transported ‘several hundred pounds’ of batteries out of Cayman. And, as Mr. Ryan pointed out, ‘That is an awful lot of batteries, but not nearly enough. I started this project because it is a real concern for all of us. If batteries are going into the landfill … they could wind up leaching into the North Sound.’

    Yes, indeed, it is essentially a concern for all of us. In this electronic age, consumers are buying and using more and more electronic appliances and devices such as, cameras, computers, toys, flashlights, calculators, watches, hearing aids, power tools, cell phones, etc. These devices obtain their power source from chargeable and rechargeable batteries that are made from a variety of known toxic materials such as lead, acid, mercury, lithium, alkaline and nickel-cadmium.

    When batteries are not properly disposed of and dumped into the landfill, the casings eventually disintegrate and release the toxic materials into the environment. The result is that the soil and water become contaminated thereby posing a serious and hazardous threat to humans and wildlife.

    Let us all cooperate and do the right thing by taking all our used batteries to the designated drop-off points so that they can be properly disposed of. We will be contributing to a safer and healthier environment for everyone.

    GEOFF DANIELS

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