Can You Throw Away Alkaline Batteries – What Do You Do With Old Batteries
One of the most common household items that cause confusion when it comes to battery recycling is the alkaline battery. The reason? Most people simply do not know if you can throw away alkaline batteries or if they need to be recycled through an electronic waste recycling facility. And the reality is every household uses alkaline batteries whether it is for the television remote controls, children’s toys, alarm clocks, electric toothbrushes, and more. In fact, it is estimated that 3 billion batteries are thrown out every single year in the United States! So what do you do with old alkaline batteries when they no longer work?
What Is An Alkaline Battery?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that the concept of alkaline batteries is rooted in the Alkaline Manganese Dioxide electrochemical system. This innovative approach was pioneered by Duracell in the mid-20th century, during an era where consumer electronics were rapidly evolving.
Why did alkaline batteries become so popular? They offered considerable benefits over other battery types of the time, notably zinc-carbon cells. Their edge lay in the fact that alkaline batteries could deliver up to ten times the ampere-hour capacity. This proved especially useful when devices were being used in less than ideal conditions, such as low temperatures.
For retailers, alkaline batteries provided practical advantages. Their extended shelf life reduced the risk of ending up with unsold, expired inventory. Moreover, they exhibited less leakage, minimizing potential in-store damages.
Corrosion is a common issue with many types of batteries, but not so much with alkaline ones. They are less likely to corrode, which means they are less likely to damage the electronic devices they’re powering, from AAA and AA battery-operated toys to larger devices like power tools.
In summary, the long-lasting power, durability, and reliability of alkaline batteries have made them a popular choice in a variety of applications. As a result, they continue to be a preferred option for powering a wide range of portable electronic devices.
Where Can I Recycle Alkaline Batteries?
Wondering where you can recycle your alkaline batteries? The answer might surprise you – it’s closer than you think. Your own home offers the simplest solution for disposing of single-use batteries like AA and AAA alkaline batteries.
Here’s why: unlike rechargeable batteries, car batteries, or other types of electronic waste, alkaline batteries can be disposed of with your regular household waste. When your alkaline batteries have run out of juice, there’s no need to hunt for a recycling location.
Here’s your quick guide:
- Step 1: Ensure your alkaline batteries are completely discharged. This means they no longer carry a charge.
- Step 2: Unlike hazardous waste such as lead-acid batteries or nickel-cadmium batteries, alkaline batteries can be put into your regular trash bin.
- Step 3: Dispose of your batteries responsibly by tossing them in with your household waste.
This is not to say that all batteries can be thrown away in your regular trash. Certain types of batteries contain harmful substances and should be taken to local household hazardous waste collection sites. This includes but is not limited to:
- Automotive batteries
- Lead-acid batteries
- Li-ion batteries
- Nickel metal hydride batteries
In short, when your alkaline batteries are spent, you can simply throw them in your trash. However, always remember to dispose of other battery types properly. It’s crucial to our environment’s health and helps to reduce unnecessary waste.
How Do You Store Alkaline Batteries – Five Tips to Store Alkaline Batteries
- One myth that has perpetuated mainstream culture is that alkaline batteries last longer if they are stored in a cool spot such as the refrigerator or freezer. The truth is that cold temperatures can actually harm the performance of alkaline batteries. Energizer states that alkaline batterie should be stored in a cool place, not a cold place. Something closer to room temperature (70 degrees).
- If you have not used your alkaline batteries for a long duration of time take a moment to clean both the negative (-) and positive (+) ends of the batteries before using them. This can be done using a pencil eraser or clean rag.
- When alkaline batteries rub against other metal objects they can short circuit or leak. This is why it is a good tip to keep alkaline batteries in a container where they will stay safe. The best thing to do is simply keep the batteries in their original packaging if possible.
- Avoid the heat! Batteries lose charge when they are kept in areas where temperatures can get high (100+ degrees). These places can include a garage, car trunk, or storage facility. Alkaline batteries can lose approximately 1/4th of their charge annually when stored in high temperatures.
- If you have new and old batteries try to see them separated. The reason is that when alkaline batteries are stored together the power can be pulled from the new battery, reducing its power.
Alkaline batteries can last many years when stored properly so by utilizing the above tips and then properly disposing of alkaline batteries when they are no longer needed you will be living your best eco-friendly life!
Can You Throw Away Alkaline Batteries – Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Throw Away Alkaline Batteries in the Trash?
Yes, you absolutely can! Unlike certain types of batteries such as nickel cadmium or lead-acid batteries that contain hazardous substances, it’s safe to throw away alkaline batteries in the trash. These common household batteries are typically used in remote controls, alarm clocks, and children’s toys. Remember, only dispose of them once they’re completely discharged.
What’s the Best Way to Store Alkaline Batteries?
Alkaline batteries should be stored in a cool place, not in freezing temperatures like a refrigerator or freezer. It’s optimal to keep them at room temperature, about 70 degrees. Ensure they’re away from metal objects to prevent any short circuits, and it’s best to keep them in their original packaging if possible. And remember, always separate old and new batteries to avoid power drainage.
Where Can I Recycle My Alkaline Batteries?
Interestingly, the best recycling location might just be your own home. Alkaline batteries, including AA and AAA types, can be disposed of with your regular household waste. So, unlike with automotive batteries or other types of hazardous waste, you don’t need to seek out specialized recycling facilities. That said, remember that not all batteries can be tossed into your regular recycling bin!
Do I Need to Pay Recycling Fees for Alkaline Batteries?
No, there are no recycling fees for disposing of alkaline batteries. Simply put them into your regular trash bin once they’re fully discharged. However, remember that not all types of batteries can be discarded this way. Batteries such as lead-acid batteries, Li-ion batteries, and nickel metal hydride batteries should be taken to local household hazardous waste collection sites.
Are Alkaline Batteries Safe for My Household Devices?
Absolutely! Alkaline batteries are a safe and reliable option for your household devices, including power tools. They’re less likely to corrode, which reduces the risk of damaging your devices. Moreover, they can deliver up to ten times the ampere-hour capacity of other battery types. So, for household batteries, alkaline is a great choice.