Recycling Your Household Batteries

Flashlights, hearing aids, watches, toys, remote controls, and appliances are just some of the many items that require batteries that we use daily. Americans throw away billions of batteries every year. It is better to recycle those batteries, which in turn saves the environment and saves you money. Batteries are made up of heavy metals and toxic waste that are harmful to the environment. They harm the environment by filling up the landfills, and polluting lakes and streams, all while leaking acid into the ground. You can exchange some batteries for rechargeable ones and recycle the others.

Types of Household Batteries:

1. Household use – AA, AAA, C and D, alkaline, lithium, sliver-zinc and carbon-zinc batteries. These cannot be recycled and must be throw away.

2. Batteries used in laptops can be recycled.

3. Button cell batteries that are used in hearing aids, watches etc. are hazardous waste and can be recycled.

4. Car batteries are lead acid and hazardous waste. It is your car battery and should be brought back to an auto retailer or recycled.

5. Batteries found in wheel chairs, cameras, power tools etc are sealed lead acid and rechargeable. They are considered hazardous waste and can be recycled.

There are certain batteries that may cause these problems or hazards:

1. Pollute lakes and streams.

2. Contain strong corrosive acids.

3. Possibly cause burns or danger to eyes and skin.

4. Could expose the environment and water to lead and acid.

There are some regulations for disposing batteries that some states might require.

1. Remove batteries from products to make it easier to recycle.

2. Labels must contain the symbol and phrase that indicates that the person must recycle or dispose of the battery properly.

3. Proper collection, storage and transportation of certain batteries.

You can help by checking to see if you have batteries before purchasing more. You save money and you won’t have an abundance of one particular type of battery. Regular alkaline batteries that were purchased in the last few years can be thrown away. Search for batteries that have less mercury and heavy metals. Consider the rechargeable batteries as they last longer, but remember that they, too, have heavy metals. Don’t bring a lot of batteries in a group together as they can cause problems such as leakage, or several could bang together and produce a charge, which can cause them to ignite. A group of batteries together could possibly ignite, leak, or rupture, causing damage to you as well as an electronic item.

Many people just throw their batteries into the trashcan without giving it a second thought. It is better to recycle them because batteries can be harmful to the environment and you. Place your batteries in a reusable bag or container until you can dispose of them properly. If you can’t find a location near you, bring the rechargeable batteries to any participating retail stores. However, it is better to bring your batteries to your nearest recycling center, as it is better and safer for you and your environment.


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