This post is part of an attempt to do something like 100 recycling tips for damn near anything in something close to, anyway, 100 days. We’ll see how that goes. When the 100 Recycling Tips are all published here on Easy Ways to Go Green, we’ll do a master list so that every link exists on one single page for everyone to be able to link over to, or to use as a reference guide when questions on how to recycle different things in your life inevitably come up.
How to Recycle 100 Common Things: #15 Recycling Used Batteries
They’re literally everywhere, if you look around the house. Batteries power everything from the kids’ toys to the remote control, your watch or the digital camera. We could make a list a thousand items long, but we won’t. The question to ask is — with all those household, disposable batteries around, can we recycle them when they run out of power? It is possible to recycle used batteries, but there are a few things to be aware of. Don’t simply dispose of them in the recycling bin and assume the job is done. That won’t work.
First do a second-layer sorting of your household batteries, once they’ve run out of juice. Base your separating and classifying on their contents and their size before you find a battery recycling station in a place like Radio Shack or your local market. Group batteries by their size: AA, D or AAA batteries for example, as well as for what they contain: silver oxide, zinc air, lithium or alkaline, for example. Each of these materials will require a different and unique process of recycling.
Batteries that you intend to recycle should be kept away from extreme temperatures and sunlight — so don’t leave them in the car in the hot sun. Check the links below for handy resources on exactly where to drop your batteries off to be recycled. Don’t burn your batteries as the contents will pollute the air, and make sure to keep your used batteries in tact — don’t unwrap or damage the casing so as to avoid harmful skin irritants making contact with your skin or eyes.
Helpful Links on Recycling Used Household Batteries:
Search by “Used Batteries” and “Your City Name or Zip Code” at Earth 911 and find the closest recycling center near you.
Check out this Battery Recycling and Disposal Guide for Households.
Information right from the source: Duracell Batteries tips on how to recycle old batteries.
Article on safe handling of single-use batteries again at Earth 911.
An article on battery recycling versus disposal on About.
Tips on how to Recycle Your Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones from Call2Recycle in the US.
Battery Solutions smart recycling of old batteries, made easy.
Check out the Lead Battery Recycling Video right here on Easy Ways to Go Green.