In 2019, students at the 311 educational centres in Spain cooperating with the “Adopt a container” campaign, organised by environmental foundation Ecopilas, collected over 12,700 batteries for recycling. And the number of educational centres requesting containers grew by 70%. According to Ecopilas figures, Andalusia led participation in the campaign with 78 educational centres, followed by Madrid with 54, The Autonomous Community of Valencia with 38 and the Canary Islands with 23. The highest number of batteries, 6,680, was collected in July, despite the fact that it was a month without classes.
The “Adopt a container” initiative sends containers and informative materials to centres wishing to participate. Training workshops are also provided for students, who represent one of the most important groups in terms of fostering good environmental habits, according to Ecopilas.
José Pérez, president of Ecopilas, explains that, “we are really satisfied with these results, particularly bearing in mind the potential of the youngest members of society in terms of influencing environmental behaviour. Despite the closure of these centres owing to the lockdown, we have no doubt that students will soon once again be lending their efforts to the common goal of recycling. The recycling sector, despite the logical current reduction in waste streams, is continuing to operate due to the essential nature of the activity for society”.
Since its inception in the year 2000, Ecopilas has striven to bring used battery containers to citizens and increase the volume of waste recycled, with special emphasis on the creation of a large network of collection points at educational centres.
Ecopilas currently has 5,417 collection points at educational centres, accounting for 13.23% of the 40,945 containers deployed in public buildings, large stores and commercial establishments throughout Spain. The foundation has containers at pre-school and primary schools, secondary schools, universities, sailing schools and music conservatories in all regions of the country.
In 2018, in order to expand its collection network at educational centres, Ecopilas started the “Adopt a container” campaign. By filling in a form, centres can request the delivery of a container free of charge. As part of the campaign, Ecopilas also delivers domestic collection containers and educational material on the functioning of batteries, the different types of batteries and their components, and the benefits of recycling in terms of saving raw materials and environmental protection. The foundation also provides training workshops at educational centres throughout Spain.