Rechargeable batteries can help reduce landfill waste, save money and help you go green.
Recent studies have shown that each year, Americans throw out about 180,000 tons of used batteries, 92% of them are single-use batteries and the remaining 8% are rechargeable batteries. Batteries contain a number of chemicals that are considered toxic such as acid, lead, nickel, lithium, cadmium, alkaline, mercury and nickel metal hydride. The batteries that are thrown into the landfills will eventually breakdown and leach into the environment causing contamination to the soil and ground water. In 1996, the Battery Act was signed into law to phase out the use of mercury in rechargeable batteries and to provide proper methods for recycling and disposal of old batteries. Though the methods only work when people use them.
Most people dispose of old batteries in the household trash, which can cause harm to the environment. The best option is to recycle used batteries, which can reduce waste and keep toxins out of our water. An excellent resource to find out where you can take your old batteries for disposal or recycling is Earth911.com or Call2Recycle. Here you can find a recycling location within your zip code for practically anything, including used batteries. A convenient option is to save all your old batteries in a recycling bin, box or similar and take them periodically. An even better option is to involve your neighbors or local schools in a group battery recycling project which can save time and the environment. Just like single use batteries, rechargeable batteries should be recycled since they generally contain more toxic chemicals than the non-rechargeable batteries.
There are many advantages of using green products like rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be reused hundreds of times and the good ones can outperform the leading brand single-use batteries. By utilizing rechargeable batteries you will also reduce the waste generated from the single use battery packaging, perhaps even reducing greenhouse gases by cutting down trips to the store. Rechargeable batteries come in many different shapes and sizes and you can easily find different types that you need for your household products. You can also save money using rechargeable batteries, since they can be used over and over again. For example, if you purchase 4 quality AA rechargeable batteries for the cost of $10-$20, the initial cost of each battery is $2.5 – $5. You can reuse these batteries by recharging them a minimum of 100 times, which makes each use cost about 5 cents or less. Once our family did the math all we started using was rechargeable batteries.
If you have to use single use batteries make sure you dispose of them properly at a certified recycling center. Though try and take advantage of rechargeable batteries since 1 rechargeable can save you from tossing out up to 400 single-use equivalents. Considering all the advantages of rechargeable batteries, why not make the switch?