What Do You Do With Old Batteries?
One of the most common household items that causes 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 for 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?
Before we discuss how to recycle alkaline batteries lets first talk about what an alkaline battery is. Alkaline Manganese Dioxide electrochemical system was pioneered by Duracell in the middle of the 20th century. What made the Alkaline Manganese Dioxide cells (Alkaline batteries) popular was that they fit the demand for a booming consumer electronic market in the 1960s. Alkaline batteries had significant advantages over the other commonly used battery options at the time, most notably zinc-carbon cells, because alkaline batteries offered upwards of 10x the ampere-hour capacity. Not to mention, alkaline batteries performed substantially battery in more real world conditions such as when the temperatures were low. Additional benefits of alkaline batteries included:
- Alkaline batteries had a long shelf life for retail stores
- Alkaline batteries had less leakage
- Alkaline batteries were less likely to corrode
Where can I recycle alkaline batteries?
When most people think where can they find an alkaline battery recycling near me they often don’t even realize that the place is right where they are: home. Yup that is right! Alkaline batteries are not like rechargeable batteries, car batteries or other forms of electronic waste that need to be carefully disposed of at a local e-waste recycling center. After a alkaline battery no longer carries a charge consumers can simply throw them away in the regular trash bin.
How do you store alkaline batteries?
Five Tips to Store Alkaline Batteries
1. 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).
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. If you have new and old batteries try to see them separated. The reason is because 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!