by Joshua Lou, Cypress, California
"We have been waiting for you!" This gray-haired gentleman, manager of a senior apartment near my home, quickly walked toward his closet, took out 4 bags of batteries with all kinds of batteries, and earnestly handed them out for me to grab. We had only known each other for about a minute and a half, and I was already getting over 200 batteries he accumulated from the seniors in his apartment complex. I left him with an empty battery collection bucket, not knowing that he would call me for another pickup just three days later because the bucket was completely filled!
Many seniors are environmentally conscious. Many of them put aside their used batteries instead of discarding them in the trash. However, driving to battery collection centers might be too much of a hassle for some of them. This is where we come in!
Another manager (pictured above) was thrilled to see me come in and give her a battery bucket, saying, “Sorry that I don't have a golden carpet for you right now!” She kindly offered to talk to the managers of another two senior apartments so that they may combine all batteries for us to pick up in just one trip. Ten days later, she texted me saying "we have a Lotta batteries for you!" She had added "Collecting Old Batteries … drop items off in the office" in their newsletter. Many seniors dropped them off (totally 861 batteries!) outside her office when she was out, and she didn’t even know who did it. Counting these batteries and seeing their careful preparations (e.g. batteries nicely packaged, their terminals carefully taped to prevent fires), I was so happy that I was able to help them accomplish their recycling endeavors.
Visit senior apartments near your home and tell the manager that you can help collect used batteries for recycling. Leave a bucket and your phone number so that they can text you for pick up when the bucket is full.