Founder of a non-profit organization Recycle My Battery, 11 YO Nihal Tammana talks about the impacts of non-recycled and openly disposed batteries on environment
Hi, Nihal. Tell us about the entire concept of Recycle My Battery.
Recycle my battery is a non-profit organization started by me in 2019. I came up with this idea to start this organization because I have seen people throw away used batteries in the trash.
I have frequently seen on the news that open disposal of batteries in landfills is sparking off fire. So, I formed this non-profit organization to educate and help people recycle used batteries properly. Along with spreading awareness, my organization also sets up certified battery bins free of cost which covers two-way priority shipping to any public or private organizations.
In your experience, where does India stand in curbing the battery menace as compared to other countries?
In terms of awareness, India is on the same footing as other countries. I have seen people throwing batteries in trash and rivers. Actually, I thought of starting my company in India to spread awareness about plastic recycling. But since I am in the US now, I thought of doing something here and then spread it worldwide. I definitely want Recycle My Battery to reach India and many Indian kids have come forward to join my campaign.
Please tell us about RMB Team and how each team member is pivotal in the operation of Recycle My Battery.
RMB team has recycled more than 35,000 used batteries, educated over 250,000 adults and kids. So far, we have got appreciation from 4 senators and got approval from 20+ superintendents to place battery bins in their school districts which would cover over 250 schools. Also, RMB has won 5 awards this year both nationally and locally. None of this would have been possible without the 45+ kids nationwide who helped RMB become successful.
Does your organization have any tie-up with schools or factories?
Yes, Team RMB has partnered with more than 50+ schools to educate kids on battery recycling. We have placed battery bins in these schools.
We have placed battery bins in many libraries so when people go to borrow books, can also take their used batteries along to recycle them properly. We received approval from more than 200 schools to place battery bins. We have partnered with Call2Recycle. With their support, RMB also sets up certified battery bins at free of cost including free two-way priority shipping to any public or private organizations. We have also partnered with Best Brains to place battery bins in all their 150+ locations nationwide. ITServe Alliance is another organization actively supporting us as part of their CSR initiatives and spread awareness among their 1200+ member companies.
What kind of support do you expect to grow as an organization and launch more environment-friendly projects?
I want everybody out there to recycle their used batteries properly to make Earth a better place to live. Also, I want them to tell their kids about this company so they could join our company and start helping us recycle our used batteries properly because, it’s no other than you who can help us. If not, you can all teach your kids about human-made disasters around the world. We can proceed with our initiatives to make Earth a safer place.
I believe in the saying:
“If I can make Earth a better place to live, you can!
If you can make Earth a better place to live, we all can!”
As a young entrepreneur, what challenges did you face?
Trying to find an organization that can support us was challenging. Before, we used to collect used batteries from people and gave them to Staples and Office Depot. Gradually, people started giving us hundreds of batteries. So, when we went to Staples and Office Depot to drop the used batteries, they rejected us by saying that they only take 5 batteries per day. So, that’s when we started researching a company that can support us. Eureka!!! We found a company called Call2Recycle. Call2Recycle is the biggest battery recycling company in the USA and Canada. It’s only because of them, we were able to offer battery bins for free to all organizations.
RMB team has recycled more than 35,000 used batteries, educated over 250,000 adults and kids
Recycle My Battery’s website mentions about becoming a member. Please provide a few details.
After becoming a member of Recycle My Battery, members can start educating in their school and teach the kids why it’s important to recycle used batteries properly. Also, they oversee the battery bins and if the kids are following the rules properly. For example, they need to be on the lookout for terminal protection. Terminal protection is placing tape on the positive and negative side of the battery which is extremely important to ship the battery bins.
Where do you want to see Recycle My Battery in future?
All around the world. Only when everyone will know about my company, will the 15 billion batteries thrown away every year in trash all over the world be reduced to zero.