Every Wednesday, Pembroke residents recycle plastic, paper and glass, but now they can add batteries to that list.
About two weeks ago, the city of Pembroke started picking up batteries, from AAAs to car batteries, along with the regular curbside recycling. In October, the Pembroke City Council verbally agreed to participate in a battery recycling program to benefit the Savannah chapter of the American Red Cross.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that they decided to get on board,” said Denese Register, a media relations officer at the American Red Cross in Savannah.
The batteries are picked up during the regular recycling on Wednesdays. It all goes to the city’s shop area on Harn Street, where the recyclable waste is sorted. Plastics, paper and glass are sent to Fort Stewart’s plant. The batteries are stored at the shop until the city is ready to make one of its regular trips to Savannah, said City Administrator Frank Etheridge. The batteries will be dropped off at Huntington Restorations Inc. (HRI), which refurbishes and resells batteries, or recycles them.
“They will take anything we bring them,” Etheridge said.
The Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross will get a small percentage of the proceeds from the recyclable lead or sale of batteries, said Nick Nicholas, the president and owner of HRI.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of it,” he said.
The program will benefit the city of Pembroke by keeping batteries out of the landfill, Etheridge said. Batteries can take up space and leach chemicals into the water table.
The recycling program will also have zero cost to the city since the storage space already exits, officials make regular trips to Savannah and the city picks recycling regardless, Etheridge said.
“There’s really no extra cost on our part,” he said.
City Council member Angela Reed said last month that she is excited about the opportunity for the city to go greener.
“I am into getting people to recycle anyway, and I like to see us recycle whatever we can,” she said.
Reed also said that she appreciates the American Red Cross bringing the idea to the city’s attention.
“It’s one of the small things we can do,” she said.