With no organized recycling efforts in place, over 2 billion single-use, “disposable” batteries are tossed into U.S. landfills each year. Batteries Plus is the only retailer that will accept any type of battery for free recycling. Find a location here.
Although rechargeable batteries are accepted at certain retailers for recycling, this program has not kept pace with increasing waste. Estimates show 80-90% of rechargeable batteries, which contain toxic metals and chemicals, are still sent landfills. Retailers such as Home Depot, Radio Shack and Best Buy sometimes have free recycling for rechargeable batteries–to find a full list of locations, visit Call2Recycle.org.
What’s the Impact?
Because rechargeables can be used over and over, they do not create as much waste as single-use batteries. However, rechargeable batteries also contain more toxic metals and chemicals, making them more dangerous when sent to our landfills. Due to federal laws, “disposable” batteries no longer contain some of the most toxic metals such as lead and mercury. Some companies and governments recommend throwing them away with your trash. But they still contain materials that are toxic–like manganese and zinc.
The bottom line: we need manufacturers to take responsibility for recycling ALL batteries and for making recycling easy and convenient for everyone.