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Disposing of Batteries

Disposing of BatteriesHow do you dispose of single-use batteries?  Do you recycle them?  Throw them in the trash?

Every year, Americans throw out almost 180,000 tons of batteries. Only 14,000 of those tons are rechargeable batteries and the rest are single-use.   Rechargeable batteries are great because you can use them over and over again.  Once they cease to be usable, you can recycle them through an organization called Call2Recycle.  

But what about single-use batteries?  Can you throw them out?  NO!  Batteries can distribute large amounts of heavy metals and other toxic things into the air and water when disposed in traditional landfills.  So...recycle, recycle, recycle!

Some municipalities claim that it's okay to simply toss your batteries out in a regular trash can because they contain less mercury than older batteries.  It's still much better to recycle them.  And if you happen to find old batteries lying around in your house that might be from before 1997 when Congress mandated that batteries must not contain any mercury, DO NOT THROW THEM OUT!   Make sure you recycle those!

Earth911 has a database where you can find a list of recycling locations near you that accept single use batteries.