Disposal of Batteries is Everyones Responsibilities
The average person throws away eight household batteries each year. In the United States alone, battery retailers sell nearly three billion batteries annually. When broken down, this figure comes out to an average of 32 batteries per family. Unfortunately, all these batteries contain heavy metals that can contaminate the environment. For example, some batteries contain mercury, lead, nickel and cadmium. To save the planet from hazardous waste, people must learn about proper battery disposal.
State Rules and Regulations
Certain states have regulations when it comes to throwing batteries away. For example, California residents must recycle nearly every type of battery they own. According to the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act, batteries must be easy to remove from consumer products. In addition, the labels must clearly list their battery chemistry. These rules make it easier for citizens to dispose of dead batteries the proper way.
Consumers should take the batteries out as soon as an electronic product dies. Otherwise, the batteries can leak while still inside the electronic device. All batteries should be stored in a sealed container until they can be properly disposed. Since battery disposal rules vary by state, people must research the requirements for their specific area. One way to do this is to visit Earth911.org or to call 1-800-CLEANUP. Both of these resources have information about acceptable battery recycling locations.
How to Dispose Alkaline Batteries
Some companies no longer use mercury in their batteries. For example, Duracell batteries are safe to throw in the trash. With that said, experts still recommend placing the batteries in a plastic bag before throwing them in the trash. This plastic bag will help keep the environment safe from battery leaks. Some used batteries still contain a small charge; as a result, people should avoid throwing away batteries in groups. In extreme cases, the batteries can cause sparks or a small fire.
What to Do with Rechargeable Batteries
Burning batteries can cause a harmful release of chemicals into the air. Even though rechargeable batteries are more environmentally friendly than basic alkaline batteries, people must still avoid burning them. Consumers can use rechargeable batteries multiple times; however, they will eventually need to throw them away for safety reasons.
The best way to get rid of rechargeable batteries is to recycle them. Many stores allow people to turn in their old batteries when they buy new ones. Some of the most popular stores that may do this include Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Cingular Wireless, Best Buy and Target. To learn about other recycling locations, visit the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Coalition at www.rbrc.org.
Taking Part in Protecting the Environment
Using proper battery disposal methods will help save the planet. Since most of the population uses quite a few batteries, disposing of them properly is crucial. Nearly all technology requires the use of batteries. Some of the most popular items that use batteries include computers, cell phones, remote controls, digital cameras and game systems. Fortunately, most of the batteries that operate these devices are recyclable.