July 14/21, 2003

RBRC reports 30% rise in rechargeables collected during first half of 2003

In the first six months of 2003, the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) collected two million pounds of rechargeable batteries, a 30% increase over the same time period for 2002. At the same time, the non-profit, public service organization dedicated to recycling rechargeable batteries also reported a 30% increase in program participation, adding 880 new collection sites. This brings the total number of businesses, communities and public agencies who take part in the RBRC program to over 3,700 in Canada and the U.S.

"As the use of wireless products continues to grow so do the number of rechargeable batteries that can and should be recycled," said Ralph Millard, executive vice-president of RBRC. "We are pleased to see that our recycling numbers continue to grow in response to the trend of an 'unplugged' lifestyle. This means that consumers, businesses, communities and public agencies are thinking greener and acting on it."

Rechargeable batteries power a growing list of cordless electronics products, including cellular and cordless phones, digital cameras, laptop computers, portable DVD and CD players, PDAs and cordless power tools.

Among the leading program achievements during the first half of 2003 was the addition of Staples to the RBRC program. This marked the first time RBRC has joined forces with a national

office supply retailer. Staples has approximately 1,100 stores in the U.S., and its participation in the RBRC program adds substantially to the more than 30,000 sites throughout Canada and the U.S. where consumers can drop off their used rechargeable batteries.

In January, RBRC launched a no-cost program for public agencies. This means that any federal, state/provincial or local governmental agency, as well as public hospitals, police and

fire departments, and military institutions that want to recycle rechargeable batteries can now do so free of charge. Since RBRC eliminated its program fees for this sector, nearly 500 public agencies have signed on-an increase of 97%.

Earlier this year as well, RBRC revamped and relaunched its Web site, www.rbrc.org. The new site has retained all the important information and functions of the old site while presenting a cleaner look and offering easier navigation, including a comprehensive database consumers can use to find the nearest drop-off location to recycle their rechargeable batteries. Other features of the improved site are information on U.S. federal and state battery recycling laws, downloadable images that RBRC program participants can use as promotional materials, and information in French, Chinese and Spanish. Since the relaunch, the site has recorded an average of 30,000 visits per month, up 50% from 2002.

RBRC is funded by more than 300 manufacturers and marketers of portable rechargeable batteries and products. Its Charge Up to Recycle!(R)public education campaign and battery recycling program stems from the rechargeable power industry's commitment to conserve natural resources and prevent rechargeable batteries from entering the solid waste stream. Since 1995, RBRC has recycled over 19 million pounds of rechargeable batteries. The organization was named Home Depot's "Environmental Partner of the Year" for 2002.

In Canada, more information is available from Susan Antler, RBRC, 416/535-9210, E-mail santler@utopia.on.ca, Web site www.rbrc.org.

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