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I am on vacation and have not been writing many blog entries lately and need to catch up, so lets start with what we can do about dry-cell battery disposal/recycling.

First lets cover what dry-cell batteries are, they include alkaline and carbon zinc (9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA), mercuric-oxide (button, some cylindrical and rectangular), silver-oxide and zinc-air (button), and lithium (9-volt, C, AA, coin, button, rechargeable).

There are two types of batteries:
1.  Primary — those that can not be reused
2.  Secondary also known as “rechargeable” — those that can be reused.

Primary batteries include alkaline/manganese, carbon-zinc, mercuric-oxide, zinc-air, silver-oxide, and other types of button batteries. Secondary batteries (rechargeable) include lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and potentially nickel-hydrogen.

Next, lets talk about some potential problems or hazards with throwing away your batteries in your household garbage.

  1. When burned, they pollute the lakes and streams as heavy metals vaporize into the air.
  2. Heavy metals leaking from old batteries into the Earth.
  3. Exposing the environment to more lead and acid.
  4. Containing strong corrosive acids.
  5. May cause burns to your eyes and skin.

In landfills, heavy metals have the potential to leak slowly into Earth’s soil, groundwater or surface water. Dry cell batteries contribute about 88 percent of the total mercury and 50 percent of the cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. In the past, batteries accounted for nearly half of the mercury used in the United States and over half of the mercury and cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. When burned, some heavy metals such as mercury may vaporize and escape into the air, and cadmium and lead may end up in the ash.

Here are some tips to reduce battery waste, starting with prevention, which create less potentially hazardous waste from seeping into our Earth.

  1. First, whenever possible, buy hand operated, solar powered, kinetic powered, water powered, wind powered, potato powered :] items that function without batteries. If that is not an option, I feel as though plug operated is better for the environment than buying heavy metal laden batteries.
  2. If you need batteries buy rechargeable batteries, but remember that they also contain heavy metals such as nickel-cadmium, so it is still a problem, but less of one than non-rechargeable batteries.
  3. Look for the batteries that contain less mercury and heavy metals than others.
  4. Lastly, if batteries are your only option, before buying more check to see if you already have some at home.

We must keep in mind, that yes, rechargeable batteries result in a longer life span and use of fewer batteries. However, rechargeable batteries still contain heavy metals such as nickel-cadmium. The use of rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries can reduce the number of batteries entering the waste stream, but may increase the amount of heavy metals entering unless they are more effectively recycled. As of 1992, the percentage of cadmium in nickel-cadmium batteries was higher than the percentage of mercury in alkaline batteries, so substitution might only replace one heavy metal for another, and rechargeable batteries do use energy resources in recharging. When disposing of rechargeable batteries, recycle. [Source: ESHO]

Here is a great link to Call-2-Recycle, whom I wrote about in my fourth TDAAIT entry, back in January! All you need to do is put in your zip code and they will tell you where to take your recyclable batteries (and old cell phones).

If you did not find a place through Call-2-Recycle for your rechargeable batteries, you can always bring them to any of these locations to recycle:

In the US: Alltel, Batteries Plus, Best Buy, Black & Decker, Cingular Wireless, The Home Depot, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Orchard Supply, Porter Cable Service Center, RadioShack, Remington Product Company, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Wal-Mart.

If you are in Canada: Battery Plus, Bell Mobility, Canadian Tire, FIDO/Microcell, Future Shop, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, London Drugs, Makita Factory Service Centers, Personal Edge/Centre du Rasoir, RadioShack Canada, Revy, Sasktel, Sears, The Sony Store, Telus Mobility and Zellers.

There are not a lot of places that recycle non-rechargeable (typically “alkaline batteries”) that I could find. The best bet is to go to Earth 911 and put in their search feature, “alkaline batteries” and the zip code where you live. I know in NYC we have places for New York residents (only) to take alkaline batteries, maybe you do to!!!

One day I hope we no longer need batteries.




I had a lot to do today, then later tonight I re-connected with an old friend I had lost contact with awhile ago, so I was super late starting my blog entry. I began panicking because I only had 15 minutes till midnight, which meant a new day with no entry. I thought to myself, great, already on my forth day I can’t even keep up. I hurried and tried to save a draft at 11:59pm, so in my mind, I made the cut…I hit save and lost not only my internet connection, but also the four words I had written so far. A few minutes later I came to the decision that the day does not end until I fall asleep, and begins when I step out of my bed. Sweet, I made it!!! Yeah. :)

Ok, enough about me, I stumbled upon today’s entry via a tv commercial that caught my attention. It was for this web site Tim the Tool Man’s assistant/host of The Family Feud, Richard Karn, was the spokesperson. He was talking about people needing to recycle re-chargeable batteries, how it is important to the world and FREE to do. I thought sweet deal, free is good.I will summarize the site and what it is about for those who do not desire to click on links too often.

Summary Begins Here:  Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys. RBRC recycles the following battery chemistries: Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion) and Small Sealed Lead* (Pb). RBRC is dedicated to keeping rechargeable batteries and cell phones out of our nation’s solid waste stream and preserving natural resources.

Here is a link that will show you the drop-off joints near you.

“The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) is a non-profit public service organization dedicated to recycling used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. RBRC collects the Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead *(Pb) rechargeable batteries that power a variety of portable electronic products such as cellular and cordless phones, power tools, laptop computers, camcorders, two-way radios, and digital cameras.

Through our national program, Call2Recycle™, and with the help of our retail and community partners, consumers can now recycle these items through a convenient and environmental-friendly way.Since 1994, RBRC has recycled more than 22 million pounds of rechargeable batteries. RBRC has also earned numerous awards and recognition, including the Keep America Beautiful First Place National Award in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” category, Leadership Award by the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association, Recycling Council of Ontario Minimization Award, Recycle at Work by US Conference of Mayors, inclusion in Environment Canada EcoAction Network and was named ” Environmental Partner of the Year” by The Home Depot in 2002.

RBRC’s Battery Recycling Seal More than 300 manufacturers support the rechargeable battery recycling program by placing RBRC’s Battery Recycling Seals on rechargeable batteries and portable electronic products. This seal lets consumers and businesses know that the battery can be recycled.

RBRC offers recycling plans for retailers, communities, public agencies, and businesses. RBRC provides collection materials and pays recycling costs. Some states have disposal bans of Ni-Cd and Pb batteries that prohibit users from throwing used batteries into the trash. State law requires these batteries to be recycled or properly disposed of through manufacturer/distributor or other collection programs.

Consumers can recycle their used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones by visiting one of the 30,000+ retail stores and community solid waste centers participating in RBRC’s recycling program, Call2Recycle. To find the collection site nearest you, use our online locator or call our toll free helpline 1-800-8-BATTERY or 1-877-2-RECYCLE.”

* weighing less than 2 lbs. / 1 kg.

Last but not least, the EPA’s Battery Alert.

This is something again I needed to know, but had been too lazy to find out how and what I needed to do. Look at that…surprise it is easy. :)



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