What about batteries?

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 11:45 AM

In a previous blog post, it is mentioned that batteries should not be recycled, but they also should not be just thrown away. Batteries are a delicate object. Since they are filled with toxins, they can cause serious harm to the environment, people, and animals in the affected area. The reason batteries are so harmful to the environment is because they are full of heavy metals, and after sitting amongst trash for a period of time mercury, lead, calcium and nickel leak into group water, affecting all those in the area. As for the batteries that are incinerated, their toxins are released into the air, potentially causing cancer and respiratory illness. It may seem like throwing away a few batteries here and there is not a huge deal, but when those few batteries are multiplied by millions or billions, the results can be catastrophic. According to the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), 125,000 tons of batteries are being discarded each year, which poses a serious threat, not only to public health, but the environment all around us.

This mass amount of battery disposal isn't just concerning to organizations supporting public health. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has taken notice to the effect battery disposal has had on oceans, animals, and plants and wants to make sure people are informed. You can read more about how the NWF is educating people by reading the link here.

So lets make a change and recycle our batteries. If you don't know how, don't worry, someone else does and they've provided resources all over the Internet. Here are a few options to keep in mind next time the batteries in your TV remote die and you need to dispose of them:

- Purchase rechargeable batteries
- Instead of putting batteries into a normal recycling bag or trash can, place them in a household hazardous waste collection for special requirements
- Take used batteries to battery recycling center
- Buy eco - friendly batteries

Are you wondering what happens once the batteries are recycled and how the process works? Check out this Youtube video called, Battery Recycling - what happens? to find out what exactly happens when batteries are correctly disposed of.

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