Recycle Batteries

02023-03-19 | Environment | 1 comment

Europe’s ubiquitous recycling system for household batteries means virtually none get thrown away. Why doesn’t the US have something similar?
Why Europeans Recycle Their Batteries and Americans Don’t

I remember taking a box of batteries to a recycling facility in Santa Fe and learning that batteries were no longer recycled. I was told that batteries had been classified as trash and we should simply throw them away. The caveat is that, I believe, this only referred to non-lithium batteries, but how many people actually check which batteries contain lithium? Battery recycling too difficult? Just call them trash and put them in the landfill.

Why are we becoming more short sighted, not less? Is the perceived tempo of modern life?

1 Comment

  1. Steve

    >Why are we becoming more short sighted, not less? Is the perceived tempo of modern life?

    An anecdote: at the college where I teach there WAS no battery recycle programme.

    Now … you have all those projector remotes, panel display remotes, wireless audio transmitters, wireless mice, etc, etc, etc… we produce A LOT of dead batteries. When I first started teaching here 7 years ago, I asked the (apparently) silly question after my first quarter here, “where’s the battery recycle?”

    Remarkably, it took 6 years of … what to call it? … “negotiation” I guess … to get a recycle receptacle installed on one of the loading docks where one may bring dead batteries for recycle.

    Prior to this, I was taking my department’s dead batteries myself to a battery retail outlet that accepted batteries for recycle … for a fee … Of course … batteries from all the other departments … who knows?

    Now, that battery recycle receptacle is nearly always full and it is the size of a large moving box (60cm X 40cm X 30cm).

    Imagine this at scale across the United States.


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