Sep 17, 2014

Proper Disposal of Batteries

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The power to properly dispose of bateriesCan you imagine life without batteries? Batteries of various types and voltages are found in almost all portable gadgets today. While they may bring life these gadgets, they cause deterioration and pollution of the environment when not properly disposed. The choice is in your hands, in fact only you have the power to properly dispose of your batteries (pardon the pun).

 

To protect people and the environment, the U.S. Congress, in 1996, passed the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act in order to facilitate proper battery disposal. It enveloped the easy collection and recycling of Ni-CD batteries, as well as small sealed lead-acid batteries. The Act phased out mercury-containing batteries due to its ill health effects. It also promoted the recycling of batteries. This Act helped bring awareness to consumers that they really need to properly dispose of batteries in order to minimize the number of batteries that end up as a hazard in our landfills and ultimately our ground water.

 

Dangers of Batteries

 

Statistics show that 88% of mercury found in the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) stream comes from dry cell batteries. 50% of cadmium also comes from dry cells. It’s no wonder this amount of hazardous waste is being created from batteries with more than 3 billion dry cell batteries being sold each year in the U.S. alone.

 

The problem with the surmounting number of batteries ending up in landfills is not merely the quantity of trash that is growing our landfills, but the fact that batteries can release toxic wastes or metals into ground water and into the air.

 

When batteries are burned, mercury can vaporize into the air, and lead can still exist in the ash. The vaporized metals in the air can end up polluting our water sources. The metals in the batteries can also leach out into our soil and water. With all of these health and environmental dangers, proper battery waste management is necessary.

 

What You can Do

 

Dispose of your batteries safely by taking them to designated drop off locations for proper recycling. You can also opt for rechargeable batteries. These rechargeable versions reduce consumption and the waste that accompanies it.

 

 

(2010) Environmental Hazards of Batteries. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php

(2010) Single Use Batteries. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from http://earth911.com/recycling/hazardous/single-use-batteries/

(2010) Recycling at Home. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from http://www.call2recycle.org/recycling-at-home.php?s=&c=1&q=1&a=1&w=2

(2010) Negative Effects of a Wet Cell Battery. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from http://www.ehow.com/list_5842888_negative-effects-wet-cell-battery.html

 

7 comments

  • Comment Link John Micheals Thursday, 18 November 2010 17:10 posted by John Micheals

    I recently bought a few rechargeable batteries. I was presently surprised by the performance of this newer generation rechargeable battery (AA). They are much less expensive then they used to be and I quickly made my money back because my kid loves that rc car and we were going through batteries like crazy. I am glad we tried these.

  • Comment Link Ejeepney Thursday, 17 February 2011 18:59 posted by Ejeepney

    Let’s take care of our planet by recycling all batteries today!

  • Comment Link Cally Johnson Sunday, 05 February 2012 00:15 posted by Cally Johnson

    Why don't they make it easier to recycle batteries? Every household uses them. Have containers for recycling batteries or have them recycled at stores. Put containers at stores where you can bring them. Most people are not going to go to a special drop off site for batteries. They don't do it even at the medical facilities where I work. They are dropped in the trash.

  • Comment Link Ed with EcoEvaluator Thursday, 09 February 2012 11:41 posted by Ed with EcoEvaluator

    Cally,

    We completely agree with your point, it should be easier to recycle batteries. It seems that most battery and e-cycling is limited to special events. However, Earth 911 offers a great tool that will help you find places near you to recycle these items. http://search.earth911.com/?what=Batteries&where=usa&list_filter=all&max_distance=25&family_id=&latitude=&longitude=&country=&province=&city=
    Thank you for caring. Every effort counts.

  • Comment Link Cindy Monday, 05 March 2012 12:16 posted by Cindy

    I just found out that batteries shouldn't be disposing of old batteries in our household trash. I'm sure a lot of other people don't realize this as well. I'm looking to educate at my daughters school, grades K-8th, by doing a fundraiser that would also raise money for the school. Any help would be greatly appreciated...

  • Comment Link Deatcu david Sunday, 06 January 2013 04:47 posted by Deatcu david

    I had a rechargable laptop battery.
    Where to proper dispose my battery?

  • Comment Link Eco Friendly Ed Thursday, 17 January 2013 18:05 posted by Eco Friendly Ed

    Hello David,

    Earth 911 offers a great tool that will help you find places near you to recycle these items. http://bit.ly/EcYcLe
    Thank you for caring. Every effort counts.

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