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Sycamore Student Launches Battery Recycling Program

Lexi Meckes Shows Battery Recycling Bins

A Sycamore High School student has launched a districtwide battery recycling program just in time for Earth Day.

Senior Lexi Meckes has set up battery recycling bins in at each of Sycamore’s seven schools. Now students, parents, and staff can bring their old batteries to school and discard them safely. Meckes hopes that by recycling batteries, we will be able to protect our clean local watersheds.

“When we toss batteries away in our landfills, the toxic chemicals inside of the batteries leak into the ground and then into our groundwater and our watershed,” Meckes explained. “By recycling them, we are improving water quality, reducing landfill waste, and recycling and reusing natural resources.”

Batteries are made of a number of different materials including acid, lead, nickel, lithium, and alkaline. Most can be reused once the battery is taken apart properly in a special recycling facility.  Left in a landfill, these toxins can leak into the closest water supply, which can cause cancer, kidney failure, and even death.

Meckes says she was inspired to take action around the holidays when she noticed so many used batteries being tossed out.

“I hope people realize that by taking out a few batteries can make a huge impact on our local watersheds,” Meckes said. “It is a habit for most people to recycle paper and plastic and I hope it becomes that way with batteries.

Meckes entered this service learning project into Cincinnati’s Caring For Our Watersheds competition. She is currently one of the top 10 finalists. The winner will be announced April 29.

“I am so excited about this and really hope people get involved,” said Meckes.