Cell phones, cordless vacuums, laptop computers, fake candles, Wii accessories...
It's remarkable how many gadgets and doodads around the house require a rechargeable battery in order to function.
It's important to recycle batteries because some contain metals that can contaminate ground water if the batteries end up in landfills.
But if your curbside recycling doesn't take batteries, it's been hard to figure out what to do with them.
call2recycle.org makes it easy to dispose of spent rechargeable batteries. Just go to the website, pop in your zip code, and a list of drop-off sites comes up. We found one about a 5 minute walk from our house, and another that's right on our commute.
If you're in the construction trade, or you have a shop that sells things with rechargeable batteries, call2recycle will send you a free box for collecting dead batteries. When it's full, you can send it back for free, and the contents will get recycled.
There's also a link with tips to keep your batteries lasting as long as possible. Here are the top three:
- Follow the charging guidelines provided by the manufacturer. There are specific battery charging times recommended for each individual product prior to using it for the first time.
- Never return a fully-charged battery to the charger for an extra boost. This will actually shorten the life of the battery.
- Do not leave your rechargeable battery in the charger when not charging.