The last time you grabbed the remote control to change the batteries, I bet you asked yourself ‘Do you recycle batteries?’ When you look at the number of electronic gadgets, toys, and household items that require batteries, it’s staggering the number of these things that we dispose of every year. What’s in those magical little creators of energy? Is it safe to toss into the trash can? Will it leach toxic chemicals into our groundwater once it hits the landfill? There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to figure out how to dispose of batteries. Here are just a few facts about battery recycling as well as a few resources to help you reduce the carbon footprint of your battery usage.
Do You Recycle Batteries? 5 Things You Should Know
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Household batteries (like AA, AAA, C, D, and 9 volts) can be recycled through some battery retailers like Batteries Plus. They do sometimes charge a small fee (I think per pound) so set aside a shoebox and start collecting them. When you have a decent amount, head over to Batteries Plus and ask them to recycle them for you. This helps keep them out of landfills and they can reuse the materials for making new batteries.
Cell phone batteries: Do you recycle batteries from your cell phone? You definitely should! Return old batteries to the store where you purchased your cell phone and let them recycle it. Can’t remove your iPhone battery? (nope…can’t do that yourself!) Check out the Apple Support Center for details on how to send your phone back to Apple for a new battery…with a fee, but it’s cheaper than a new phone!
Rechargeable batteries These batteries are great for reducing battery usage and saving money, however when you eventually have to replace them, you need to be extra vigilant about recycling them. They contain much more toxic chemicals than traditional household batteries. You can recycle up to three per day at Best Buy (according to their website) and it is completely free. Best buy actually recycles a TON of appliances, electronics, and many other items so I encourage you to head over and support their battery recycling program!
Car batteries: Don’t forget about recycling car batteries! If you take your car to a mechanic to replace the battery, they will do this for you. If you do it yourself, PLEASE look for a car battery recycling program. Those batteries are full of lead acid and plastic, both of which are harmful to our environment but CAN be recycled. Check out this car battery recycling guide on Earth 911.
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Support battery recycling by buying recycled batteries! Some manufacturers are taking those recycled batteries and turning them into NEW batteries. Show your support by buying products like the Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ batteries. They are made from recycled battery material which is turned into a high-performance active ingredient. According to Earth911, it is the longest lasting alkaline battery on the market today. Show the company a little love and buy a pack next time you run out of batteries!
Eco-Battery Bin for battery charge testing
(affiliate links below)
Before you recycle your batteries, make sure you know for sure it is a dead battery. Here is an Amazon affiliate link for an ECO Battery Bin to test the charge on your household batteries. Testing your batteries ensures that your battery really is dead before you recycle it!
About three billion batteries are sold every year in the U.S. That’s about 32 per family or ten per person. That is a LOT of batteries to throw away! Most of these batteries can be recycled, which keeps our environment significantly cleaner. You may have to take a minute or two out of your day to recycle them. but it’s worth it to protect our lakes, streams, rivers and ground water!
Do YOU recycle batteries regularly?
Remind yourself to change flashlight batteries and smoke detector batteries by creating this DIY memo board!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.