Every year we throw away nearly 40 billion disposable batteries collectively.
The U.S. Environmental Protection agency says that in excess of 350 million rechargeable batteries are bought annually in the USA. While Rechargeable batteries have up to 32 times less impact on the environment than disposable alkaline batteries and they have a long life, when they do reach the end of their service life, they present a huge environmental hazard.
Batteries of all sorts, both rechargeable and single use, are self contained toxic-waste dumps. Some of heavy metals include nickel cadmium, alkaline, mercury, lithium, zinc, nickel metal hydride and lead acid. Some of these elements are cumulative toxins; i.e., they build in in the tissues of living organisms until reaching toxic levels. For example, a mollusc may have a small amount of mercury in its system, but if all the other molluscs in the area have the same, when predators consume them they wind up with a mega-dose.
It’s important that when your rechargeable batteries reach the end of their life, they are disposed of properly and not wind up in landfill.
For a list of places where you can send Nickel Cadmium batteries for recycling:
This article could do with some added information – add your battery recycling tips below! :)