“To Tape or Not To Tape, That is The Question"

This piece was written by Charen Fegard, Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator at CVSWMD.

The Additional Recyclables Collection Center receives several gallons of batteries daily. We accept most household batteries free of charge, specifically those under 11lbs and powered under 300 Watt Hours (WH). Watt Hours are usually listed on the battery. If not, multiply Volts x Amps = WH's. High WH batteries are only found in high power items like chainsaws, e-bikes, scooters or lawnmowers.


Some folks bring their batteries in all taped up. Is this necessary? Is it helpful? This all depends. Yes, some batteries can still hold a charge after they stop working for us, but most batteries don’t need taping.


You do not need to tape single use (aka primary) and rechargeable batteries labeled with contents below that are no more than 9 volts and 11 volts respectively. They are fine even if they are corroded:

If you want to tape and do it in a way that is both safe and helpful, follow these guidelines:


- Only tape batteries that need it:

  • All button cell batteries
  • Lithium (Li) or Lithium-ion (Li-ion) - if you can’t identify the type of battery, assume it’s Lithium
  • Primary batteries over 9 volts
  • Non-Lithium rechargeables over 11 volts.


- Tape both terminals of each battery so that they cannot contact anything else.


- Use clear packing tape: Opaque tapes prevent reading labels & Scotch tape comes off too easily so that we have to retape.

When ARCC staff intake a load of batteries, we pour them into a bucket and eye them for Lithium (Li or Li-ion) batteries that are Damaged, Defective or Recalled (DDR). They may be corroded, dented or sliced, but are most often bloated. DDR batteries pose a higher risk of catching fire or exploding. To be safe, if we cannot confirm the chemistry of a damaged battery, we assume it is Lithium. The ARCC charges a small fee to cover our costs for handling and shipping these batteries safely. 

Be careful with DDR batteries. Seal them in a bag or tape them up to prevent contact with anything metal and don’t place anything heavy on top of them. If you store them (or any batteries) outside, be sure to keep them dry.


Thank you for bringing your batteries to the ARCC. We look forward to continuing to make sure they are processed safely and responsibly. 


- Charen Fegard, Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator

Plastic Film Recycling at The ARCC

We are happy to once again offer recycling for certain hard-to-recycle items, including plastic film, now that our Additional Recyclables Collection Center has reopened – but there are a lot of different kinds of plastic out there! So how do you figure out which plastics we can take?


Plastic film cannot be recycled in your regular blue bin recycling – it’s a “tangler,” which is a material that can get tangled up in the machinery at recycling centers. We recycle plastic film through NexTrex, a recycling program by Trex that recycles plastic into eco-friendly outdoor products. But not all plastic wrappings can be recycled in this way.

NexTrex can recycle stretchy, filmy plastics that are clean (no dirt or other contamination), dry, and not mixed with any other materials (tape and labels are okay, but should be removed or cut out if possible). Shiny, crinkly plastics, biodegradable plastics, or plastic film mixed with other materials, like paper or foam, cannot be recycled.


Let's look at some examples of plastics we can and can't take:

We can take:


  • Bread bags
  • Bubble wrap
  • Bubble mailers that are all plastic (no Paper or cardboard)
  • Produce bags
  • Ziploc and other food storage bags
  • Plastic grocery store bags
  • Cereal box bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • #2 and #4 polyethylene plastics


We CANNOT take:


  • Frozen food bags
  • Chip bags
  • Candy bar wrappers
  • Mulch or soil bags
  • Meat packaging
  • Floral wrap
  • Six-pack rings
  • Pet food bags
  • Bedding packaging
  • Shower curtains
  • #5 plastics


The best way to figure out if we can take a certain piece of plastic is to pick it up and pull on it with both hands. If the plastic stretches when pulled apart and is clean and dry, then chances are very, very good we can take it! If the plastic tears like paper, we can't take it.


The ARCC is located at 540 North Main Street in Barre and is open Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 10:30am - 5:30pm (closed from 1 - 2pm for lunch) and every third Saturday of the month from 9am - 1pm.


For more information on the ARCC, accepted items, and pricing, visit the ARCC page on our website!

Reminder: FREE Holiday String Light Recycling at the ARCC!

Did you hear that you can recycle holiday string lights for FREE at the Additional Recyclables Collection Center through January 31st? Make sure to stop by with any old or broken string lights and any other special recycling materials you are holding on to!


The ARCC is located at 540 North Main Street in Barre and is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30am - 5:30pm (closed between 1 - 2pm for lunch) and every third Saturday of the month from 9am - 1pm.


For more information on the ARCC, accepted items, and pricing, visit the ARCC page on our website.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Closure

Our Additional Recyclables Collection Center and Montpelier offices will be closed on Monday, January 15 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


We will resume our regular business hours on Tuesday, January 16.


Thank you!

CVSWMD is a 19-member union municipality with a mission to provide “leadership, education and services for residents and businesses in reducing and managing their solid waste, with a vision for working toward a zero waste community by reducing waste. All of CVSWMD’s programs work toward its mission and goals.
CVSWMD member towns include: Barre City, Barre Town, Berlin, Bradford, Calais, Chelsea, Duxbury, East Montpelier, Fairlee, Hardwick, Middlesex, Montpelier, Orange, Plainfield, Tunbridge, Walden, Washington, Williamstown, and Woodbury.

CVSWMD | 802.229.9383 | comments@cvswmd.org | cvswmd.org

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