Make It Easy To Recycle Your Batteries

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a recycling fanatic. I honestly think the same parts of my brain that love recycling are the same parts that appreciate a well-organized space. I appreciate efficiency and despise waste. Recycling just makes sense. Earth’s resources are limited, so it just makes sense to be efficient, re-use, and not waste! I want to do all I can to help.

Luckily, my town gives us recycling bins that gets collected once a week. It always feels so good when the recycling bin is more full than the garbage bin. Unfortunately, not everything ‘recyclable’ is allowed in the recycling bins, so I have to take matters into my own hands.

Batteries are one of them. Batteries, however, should not be put in the trash! I really liked this explanation of the importance:

Batteries contain toxic materials, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and lithium. If disposed with the regular trash, these batteries can corrode and leak these hazardous compounds into the ground, contaminating the groundwater, once they are buried in the landfill.  –Wiki Answers

Personally, I think people throw away batteries out of convenience and lack of forethought, not because they hate the environment. Change is hard until it becomes habit. What do I do when something important needs to change that isn’t automatic? Make a plan, of course!

The plan for batteries is easy: create your own battery recycling container and put it in a convenient place that is easy to get to when you change batteries. Maybe even in the same place you keep your new batteries or at least close by. I know what you are thinking: this idea is enormous and earth shattering. Ha! Well, humor me still.

When your battery container fills up or once a year (whichever is soonest), take the container to a local battery shop for recycling. I know that my local organic grocery store has a battery recycling station. I would suggest getting a new container each year as well. Glass would probably be even better than plastic at not letting any toxins leech through – my next container will be glass. Maybe a large container of pickles? Mmm.

A battery recycling container. Sometimes solutions can be so simple. Those are usually my favorite.

Go and throw away batteries no more!

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9 thoughts on “Make It Easy To Recycle Your Batteries

  1. Seriously, we were just talking about this! I started with a big ziplock bag, but I’m going to go label a container right now for used batteries!

  2. Thank you for this tip. It is so easy to throw your used batteries into the regular trash. Didn’t know it would be “easier” to recycle those batteries at a local retail store. Want to share this tip with everyone I know.

  3. Mary, maybe an edit about correct storage and disposal to not cause a fire- especially if they come in contact with another metal item- i.e. paperclip in junk drawer / loose batteries = fire hazard, or any metal in trash, a metal lid on container that you are storing them in. Positives and negative connection can cause enough charge/heat to ignight. Most recycling around here requires them to be individually wrapped. or ends taped with electrical tape- most dangerous is a 9V. A great example is how they come when bought- ends never touch. A dead battery is hardly ever fully dead.

    Great post though…most people have no idea you can recycle them! My husband looked at me like i was crazy when i had him take a bunch!

  4. Hi Mary – Battery Solutions has a household size iRecycle Kit designed to hold the amount of batteries the average household generates in a year. It’s called the iRecycle Kit 5 and costs $29.95. If you do not have a local resource this could be an option. The Kits includes a pre-paid shipping label, so it’s a good value. Find it in the store section of http://www.batteryrecycling.com

    1. That is probably smart. We tried rechargeable batteries, but it became such a pain. It seemed like the batteries went dead so quickly and then trying to keep them charged and the charged ones separated from the other ones … it was just too much craziness. I think I’ll try again when the kids are older.

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