One common product that is causing major problems these days are throwaway batteries. When a battery dies, its off to the store or repair shop to buy a new one. In many cases, the dead battery ends up in your garbage and eventually the landfill.
According to the EPA, each year, Americans throw away more than three billion batteries. That’s approximately 180,000 tons of batteries. Almost half of these batteries are single use batteries. If you were to place all these batteries end-to-end, it would circle the world at least 6 times. On top of that, around 14,000 tons of rechargeable batteries are thrown away as well.
The AA, AAA, C and D cell batteries that power many of our toys, games, portable audio equipment and a wide range of other gadgets make up 20% of the hazardous materials found in America’s landfills.
Unlike compostable and biodegradable trash, batteries are considered hazardous waste and can take up to 100 years to eventually degrade. Sealed inside of batteries are harmful materials which no one typically comes in contact with during normal use. However, when that battery enters a landfill, the casing can be easily crushed. This causes mercury and other toxins to enter into the environment which can affect the air we breath and the water we drink.
Other heavy metals found in batteries are nickel, cadmium, cobalt and lead; all of which can be highly detrimental to your health.
Also found in batteries are corrosive acids. Corrosive acids can eat their way through many other materials and when these acids reach a high enough temperature, they can explode and release toxic fumes into the air.
Many of the rechargeable batteries today also contain heavy metals such as nickel, cadmium, cobalt and mercury. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, exposure to cadmium can cause lung damage, kidney disease and even death, while lead can cause damage the kidneys, nervous system and reproductive system.
What can you do to make the world safer?
Instead of contributing to the problem, the good news is that we can all make a difference starting today.
- You can recondition most of your batteries using a little-known technique taught by Tom Ericson. You can check out Tom’s video by visiting this link EZ Battery Reconditioning or by clicking on the banner at the bottom of this page.
- You can replace your single-use throwaway batteries with recyclable rechargeable batteries (some of which can be used up to 500 times)
- You can dispose of all your single-use batteries at a public drop-off location. Checkout https://www.call2recycle.org for a location near you
By doing your part, you will not only save money but ensure that fewer batteries ever make it to the landfill.