November 3, 2009

Which batteries need to be recycled?

Can some batteries go to the landfill?

These are frequent questions asked by those who want to do the right thing, and the answer NOW is not the same answer from a few years ago. Many common household types no longer contain toxic substances. I learned this not too long ago when I brought a huge bag of all kinds of batteries to Staples, and the gal at the cash register said, "We only take rechargeables now."

Rechargeables & Button-type batteries (as in hearing aids) still need to be recycled because they contain heavy metals.  Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Ni Metal Hydride (NiMH), and lithium batteries do not belong in landfills.

Common household batteries (AAA, AA, A, C & D) USED to contain mercury as an antioxidant. After the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act of 1996, manufacturers took this nasty element out. So these batteries can now go to landfills.

Lead acid batteries (auto) batteries should be recycled and there is a rebate in some states when you trade them in.

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