With 17-year-old Godasrita Dintakurti’s leadership, Recycle My Battery champions a sustainable and eco-conscious future for people of all ages across her New Jersey community. Godasrita has been a part of the organization for more than four years and joined when she was only 11 years old. She’s raised awareness and educated more than 30,000 people in that time and has no plans to slow down.
Godasrita partners with different community leaders and businesses to place battery bins all over town and leads battery drives, informational stands, interviews, video recordings and promotion for Recycle My Battery. To date, the high school student has collected more than 12,000 used batteries to be recycled.
What inspires you to volunteer?
My permanent volunteering service for Recycle My Battery began around six or seven years ago during my middle school years. When I heard about the organization at school, I realized that not many people know about the steps of recycling batteries or the risks if you don’t do it properly. I wanted to help raise awareness to others. I thought that you can just throw batteries away in the trash, I really didn’t know there were so many dangers to that.
So, I guess that’s what really interested me and sparked me to join this organization. Throughout the years, the organization grew so much. It’s helped me feel like I’m doing something that’s making a change. That’s what’s kept me interested and the reason that I’m still doing this now.
Tell us about your volunteer roles with Recycle My Battery.
I’m the chair of the PAC and outreach team. My responsibilities and roles include reaching out to as many places or institutions throughout the community as possible and ask them if we can place our recycled battery bins there so we can make recycling more accessible to those who can just drop them off where it’s convenient.
A lot of people still don’t really know where they can drop off batteries or know what they can do with them. They usually just keep them stored away in their houses. But we’ve seen these recyclable bins really help them have a place to put their batteries easily with our bags that are attached to the recycle bins. You basically just come by, drop them in a bag, seal it and then drop the batteries in a closed box that we’ll eventually ship to FedEx. They take the bags from there and do the actual recycling. Our job is to just collect them.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
Recently we actually broke the Guinness World Records for the longest line of recycled batteries! This was back in October and we placed around 33,000 batteries in a row that were eventually recycled.
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
I’ve learned that it can be a little hard starting an organization, but after you start talking to more people and reaching out to other people to spread awareness, a lot of people are really going to accept it and support you. Instead of shutting down your idea, people really do support others who are trying to do good work.
With Recycle My Battery, we’ve done fairs at schools and educate people out in the community about recycling batteries and people get really interested in the topic. Once I tell others about our mission, it really starts to spread in the community.
Why is it important for others to get involved with causes they care about?
I think it’s important for them to actually take action on what they care about so they have something to motivate them. Once you find something that you’re passionate about, it’s hard to stop. And once you start doing it and get other people involved, you really get to see the changes you’re helping make. I think that just fuels you to do more good. It helps you be more productive and make bigger changes. So I think it’s really important for anyone to just find their passion or interest and take action on it.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
I think I just want to end by saying that you’re never too young to start something that you’re interested in. I feel like even if you’re maybe a kindergartener or senior in high school, you can still step forward and work to do good. If you want to see the change in the world, you have to be a part of it and it’s never too late to be a part of it.
Tell us about future partnerships, programs or events that you are excited about.
I will be receiving a silver Presidential Medal for volunteer service for the year 2023. Previously I’ve received the gold medal in 2022 and bronze in 2021 for my volunteer service.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Godasrita? Find local volunteer opportunities.