recharging safely

recharging safely

Written By

Lisa Anderson Shaffer

If you are taking a photograph, using a wireless device, or being a fix it master with the cordless drill, chances are you are using a rechargeable battery. We have rechargeable batteries to thank for the oh so luxurious option to go wireless when talking, clicking, photographing, and drilling, not to mention going head to head in video game bowling. When you think about it, rechargeable batteries have significantly changed the way we go about our business.  As helpful as they are, when they have seen their last days, it is up to us to return the thanks and dispose of them properly.

Most rechargeable batteries contain nickel, lithium, cadmium, and alkaline, all of which should be disposed of safely. NiMH containing Nickel-Metal-Hydride is the most green of the rechargeables because they do not contain heavy metals like cadmium. Many counties and states have their own specific rules for disposing of batteries.  It is best to check with your individual town to find out the exact what and where of proper battery disposal.  Contact your waste management department or local waste management contractor for a detailed list of recyclables and hazardous materials. Many local hardware stores will also be knowledgeable about proper waste disposal and may even hold their own monthly collection of hazardous materials. Here in sunny California, batteries of all kind are banned from household garbage and must be either recycled or handled as hazardous waste.

Luckily major national chain stores like The Home Depot, Radio Shack, and Lowes have made it easy to give the old rechargeables a safe resting place.  Just bring in your batteries and the above-mentioned stores will accept them free of charge with no purchase necessary.  Other places to look for rechargeable recycling is at your local grocery store.  Larger grocery chains are beginning to accept batteries for recycling. Whole Foods now accepts batteries of various kinds along with old cell phones.

So when the drilling gets s little sluggish and your bowling stats take a dive, go green and be mindful about recycling your rechargeables.