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The Ecological Impact of Batteries

2019, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Westwood Collegiate student Lhili Kolbauer addressed the issue that improper disposal of batteries was having a negative effect on her watershed by involving her community in a battery recycling initiative. Before she came up with her solution, Lhili did some research of her own to see what kind of effects batteries could have on her watershed if they made their way there due to breakdown in landfills or other areas that they should not be found. This was what she saw:

Batteries over time comparison Manitoba project

She found that in less than two weeks, the batteries degraded quickly and affected the quality of water greatly. This degradation can occur in landfills when water passes over improperly disposed of batteries. This water then enters our watersheds, creating a problem. Lhili’s solution was to deliver recycling boxes to members of her community that would come with information on where they could take their old batteries to be properly recycled. Rather than have an event where people can drop off their batteries a single time, this is a long-term solution that educates people to get into a new habit of continued proper disposal.

“Every action, no matter how grand in scale, matters when taking care of our watershed.”