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Other Ways to Recycle Batteries
Remember, battery recycling keeps heavy metals out of landfills and our air. Recycling saves resources because recovered metals can be used to make new batteries, and rechargeable batteries are much easier to recycle thanks to Call2Recycle.
The Big Green Box
Make way for The Big Green Box! Please check out their FAQ here. They offer a solution for families and businesses looking for an easy and cost efficient way to recycle their batteries. The Big Green Box is designed for alkaline and all kinds of other household batteries, and also cell phones, telephones, pagers, chargers, laptops and other devices that are designed to operate on battery power. Toxco actually melts them to make cadmium and scrap metal for more batteries.
2 Steps to Battery Recycling:
1. The Big Green Box program is sponsored by a number of retailers, including Whole Foods Market, and you can view a list of participants. Locate a business on the list in your area that will take your alkaline batteries for free.
2. Contact the location to make sure they are participating. Sometimes you may have to ask more than one person at the store, as one employee might not be aware of the program even if they are participating.
- Metal Conversion Technologies, LLC, in Georgia, also accepts all battery types for recycling, only you may have to contact them directly. Their website talks more about the industrial side of recycling batteries.
- If you cannot find a participating business near you, other ideas to try would be to get your girl or boy scout troop, or any other community org to collect batteries for the Big Green Box and send them in, and it would be easy to raise funds for it that way.
A Few Other Words About Battery Recycling
If a company or collection drop-off point states firmly that they comply with state laws, and if that state in fact has no laws about battery recycling, well, it’s to the incinerator or landfill! Some states, like California, have more regulations than others. The sad fact is that there is no federal mandate to recycle non-rechargeable batteries. Even though they have heavy metals, they are not considered to contain “hazardous constituents pursuant to existing U.S. federal hazardous waste laws,” and so they are not regulated as hazardous waste. They may just get thrown out even at your recycler- it seems perfectly within the law, so be careful!
If you ship your batteries to a responsible facility directly or ask questions at the retail store you drop them off, you will know precisely where and how the batteries are properly recycled. Either find a location near you participating in the Big Green Box or just pay the shipping costs and do the right thing! Besides boxes, there are some companies, such as Raw Materials Company, that provide plastic buckets for battery recycling. Have you had any experiences with this? Give it a try and let me know how it works out. Let me know how you fund-raised if you needed to.
Question: Why don’t the battery manufacturers pay for their product to be responsibly recycled instead of having you pay for it? That’s a whole other story! Read about why sometimes you have to pay to recycle.