Beleaguered Over Batteries
An Editorial Submission by Claudette Canzian

Household battery disposal has always presented a moral dilemma for me. It seems they end up multiplying like little mutants in the plastic bags I save them in but I don't want to just throw them in the trash - so what do I do? There appears to be no safe and convenient way to get rid of these little cylinders other than in my kitchen junk drawer.

Or is there?

Early this year I joined the IUPUI Recycling Committee as a Purchasing representative. To my delight at my very first meeting I learned something new. Did you know that your standard garden variety household batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9 volt, long life C & D cells) are all safe to dispose of in your home or office trash cans? Yes Virginia, they are. Eureka, one less stress in my life to worry over; of course, there are still all those pesky plastic water bottles keeping me awake at night!
The ABC's of Household Batteries
Type of Battery Example Recommended Disposal
Non-Rechargeable Alkaline & Carbon Zinc AAA, AA, C, D, 9 volt, long life C & D cells, etc. Household or office Trash
Rechargeable Alkaline (same as above) Household or office Trash
Rechargeable Nickel cadmium, sealed lead acid, nickel hydride & lithium AAA, AA, C, D, 9 volt, & battery packs used for power tools, cellular phones, video cameras, portable computers The Department of Environmental Health and Safety collects nickel/cadmium and lead/acid batteries for recycling. To request a battery pickup, please fill out the Waste Material Manifest Form.
Button Cell, Silver oxide, Mercuric oxide, Lithium & Zinc air Round in shape, very small, & thin in size, used for hearing aids, watches, cameras, etc. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety collects nickel/cadmium and lead/acid batteries for recycling. To request a battery pickup, please fill out the Waste Material Manifest Form.

RECHARGABLE BATTERIES

By recycling your used rechargeable batteries, you are helping to create a cleaner and safer environment by keeping harmful rechargeable battery by-products out of the solid waste stream.

The following rechargeable battery chemistries can be recycled - Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead* (PB). Look for the Battery Recycling Seal on the battery.

Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead* (Pb) rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers and camcorders.

Local retailers collect your spent battery packs and ship them to the recycling facility for processing. The reclaimed materials can be used in new products-such as new batteries and stainless steel products.

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