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Successors sought for battery recycling program at library


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Matthew and Peter Farmer seek a successor to continue the battery recycling program.

Local battery recycling appears to be the business of brothers.

Twins Matthew and Peter Farmer, recent graduates of Los Altos High School, have overseen the Battery Recycle Club for the past four years. Another set of brothers, Garrett and Bryce Miller, passed the project down to the Farmers in 2010 after Garrett started the program in 2004 and Bryce succeeded him in 2007.

The Farmers, who have supervised the battery collection and recycling program since they were freshmen, are now retiring from the post as they head to college in the fall – Matthew to the University of Washington and Peter to Purdue University.

The brothers are looking for someone to assume responsibility for the community-service project. In an email to the Town Crier, they offered a job description.

“In the Battery Recycle Club of Los Altos, we collect, sort and recycle about 200 pounds of batteries each month,” they wrote. “We do this by placing buckets in the Los Altos Library for people to drop off their batteries.”

The Farmer brothers collect the batteries from the library weekly and store them in the family’s garage until they make their monthly drop off at the Sunnyvale Recycling Center.

Prior to drop off, the batteries must be sorted and deposits inspected for miscellaneous items – items such as light bulbs and glasses have been known to make their way into the library bins and must be removed before the trip to Sunnyvale, the twins said.

Matthew and Peter said their weekly routine over the past four years has been a rewarding experience.

“When we first took the job, we didn’t realize that we would be recycling almost a ton of batteries a year, and it opened our eyes that ordinary people can make a big difference if you put yourself out there,” the brothers said.

The Farmers hope to pass the torch – and their battery buckets – to an eager candidate or team willing and able to continue the program.

To volunteer and for more information, call Weiyan Farmer at 559-9804.

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