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  Citing cost, safety, AFFEW phases out battery recycling
  A battery recycling drop site at the Ludington Library is one of many that will be removed. AFFEW will discontinue battery recycling service on Aug. 10 due to safety and cost concerns.
  • By RILEY KELLEY | Daily News Staff Writer
  A Few Friends for the Environment of the World (AFFEW) has been providing battery recycling disposal sites to the community for more than a decade, but due to safety concerns, changes in battery manufacturing procedures and costs associated with the program, the environmental organization is discontinuing the program.

Battery tubs currently housed at the Ludington and Scottville libraries, Larsen’s Hardware, Evergreen Natural Grocery, United Methodist Church, West Shore Community College and Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital will be removed Friday, Aug. 10, according to AFFEW President Julia Chambers.

  The phasing out of the battery recycling services is something the AFFEW board of directors has been considering for some time, according to Chambers, who said the cost associated with maintaining the program contributed to the decision.

  “We’ve been talking about this for a few years, and we’re wondering if the money we’re spending each year might be better spent elsewhere,” Chambers said.  “We think it might be better spent in the schools, educating kids about environmental issues and what they can do.”

  Another primary concern that precipitated the change is an increase in the sheer volume of lithium ion batteries, which, when grouped together and left unattended, pose a fire hazard, according to a statement from AFFEW. Batteries in the collection bins can potentially spark if not properly stored.  These batteries should have the terminals taped over and stored in a cool, dry place, in cardboard or plastic. Chambers said it is not safe to leave batteries unattended if they have not been properly prepared.

  Additionally, said alkaline battery manufacturers have significantly reduced the amount of mercury in batteries, making them appropriate for landfill disposal.
   PO Box 177; Ludington, MI 49431