What do you do with those AA and D batteries once they run out of juice? Most people just toss them in the garbage, completely unaware that they’re recyclable regardless of the remaining power. Find out how to recycle your dead or close-to-dying batteries the right and environment-friendly way.
Battery Usage Statistics
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans use and discard more than three billion batteries every year. This comprises of 86,000 tons of alkaline batteries and an additional 14,000 tons of rechargeable batteries. The typical AA, AAA, C, and D batteries make up 20% of the hazardous materials sitting in the nation’s landfill.
Why Battery Disposal Is a Bad Idea
Why shouldn’t you throw batteries in the waste bin? They are considered hazardous waste. Inside the battery cells include harmful chemicals like mercury, corrosive acids, and other toxins. When sitting in a landfill for years on end, the chemicals begin leaching out of the cell and into the air and water. Rechargeable batteries are even worse as they contain heavy metals like cobalt, cadmium, and nickel. Cadmium has been linked to kidney and lung disease.
How to Recycle Batteries
First, let’s discuss how NOT to recycle batteries. Do not throw them in your recycle bin intended for metals. Batteries are a fire hazard and can cause a fire at recycling facilities. Check with your local city if it has a recycling protocol for batteries. If not, then you can use a site like Call2Recycle, which has an archive of 34,000 local battery drop-off centers throughout the U.S. Some of these drop-off locations are located in national retail outlets like Home Depot and Best Buy.
We must point out, though, that not all of these drop-off locations accept every type of battery. Some drop-off sites may not accept, for example, button cell or nickel-metal hydride batteries. Check ahead of time to see which battery types are and aren’t okay to drop off.
We Streamline Disposal Management
Proper waste disposal is a huge undertaking, especially at the city level. Our waste disposal management truck solutions make this job easier. Contact Big Truck Rental to enquire about our refuse trucks, suitable for handling day-to-day waste at residential and commercial establishments. Your city’s waste management program can also include a battery recycling initiative if one doesn’t exist already.