Post holiday solutions for household battery disposal are getting easier every year. Since most households go through more rechargeable and small batteries than ever in the course of a year, it makes sense to plan for a post holiday disposal and recycling project.
Over several years, the battery disposal problem becomes a nightmare as larger and more toxic batteries lose their power. Batteries are considered hazardous because they contain metals, toxic or corrosive materials. Batteries can also be a valuable source of recyclable metal, which is why more collection centers are becoming available.
The holidays lead to more battery usage and disposal. The latest toys, appliances and electronic items need batteries and they burn them out. Electric candles, battery operated LED lighting and cute holiday animated figures run on batteries. Even insect spray bottles and floor mops get more usage during the holidays and they can have batteries these days. A battery disposal strategy is easy to develop and implement with a single trip to a special disposal center.
Last year, Call 2 Recycle reported that more households than ever chose to recycle batteries. There were even more reasonable disposal and recycling options in 2012, including more than 30,000 drop off locations nationwide.
For 2012, post holiday cleanup is a good time to look at some effective strategies for disposing of batteries at the right location and in the right way.
One problem is that it is far easier to toss a few small batteries in with the rest of the garbage and let them go. Batteries do not always burn out on a regular schedule or in sufficient quantities to warrant regular or expensive trips to the disposal center. Another discouraging factor is finding a place to store burned out batteries until there are enough to make a trip worthwhile. All of these problems go away with convenient drop off locations.
The first task is to go online and research local household battery disposal solutions. Cal Recycle’s webpage is an excellent example with local and national information about battery disposal locations.
The second task is to sort the household batteries by category.
Single use batteries are the AA and AAA batteries that power smaller electronic items. Earth 911 has a locator service for these.
Rechargeable batteries found in cordless appliances, cell phones, computers and other devices. These can be disposed of at county facilities or through recycling centers, depending on the type.
Recyclable household batteries include:
- Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)
- Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)
- Lithium Ion (Li-ion)
- Small Sealed Lead (Pb)
The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) has the National Call To Recycle Program which has collection points for recyclable and rechargeable batteries. Just enter a zip code to find the nearest help center.
Finally, five great ways to make batteries last longer can be found at How Stuff Works .