Bike Ottawa, Safer Roads Ottawa and others have been handing out free bike lights for many years now. As I often volunteer, somehow I always end up with yet another set of lights. I am using the lights myself, or hand them out to visitors who arrived by bike and forgot to bring a light. The lights last about a year and run on two CR 2032 batteries.
This week, I was emptying out our kitchen drawer and collected a dozen turtle lights. Most of them didn’t work anymore. I was going to replace the batteries but it turns out it is quite difficult to take them apart and replace the batteries. It is a hassle in most cases to separate the two halves and replace the batteries. So I decided to throw them out instead. But not before I made an attempt to separate the waste streams.
Some of the turtle lights require a tiny screwdriver to get an even tinier screw out. You need to separate the two halves of the light to get the batteries out, which is a royal pain in the butt and not encouraging to replace the batteries.
It is interesting to see how many parts a tiny turtle light actually consists of as you can see in the photo underneath.
I have a few piles now: batteries, electronic circuits, plastics and screws. Batteries go to the collection at the library, plastic can’t go into the blue box so it will go into the garbage unfortunately. I am saving the small circuits for the next e-waste collection. I am keeping a small box for metals.
Last year, I switched to USB powered lights. It requires a bit more discipline to keep them charged but it becomes a habit, just like greasing your chain regularly (do you?). I am very happy with the two lights. They are more robust and produce more light and last for years. But they don’t allow for corny recycle faces though.
Read about one of the free bike light hand outs at the Corktown bridge in Ottawa here.