What about battery recycling?

four AA alkaline batteries on deskScott asks via the Facebook:

I have a question for AOA: do you know of anyone around here that does battery recycling?

OK, so the answer to this question is: it's a little bit complicated. And you might have a suggestion that could help.

There are basically two types of batteries that most people use every day (here's a Wikipedia chart about battery composition):

Alkaline batteries
Examples: The run of the mill Duracells, Energizers, or what have you. Since the mid-1990s, these batteries have not included mercury. As a result, most trash haulers (example: the city of Albany) will just tell you to chuck 'em in the regular trash.

That's not to say they can't be recycled, but we get the impression there aren't a lot of places that take them for recycling (except in California). Here's a website that says it lists drop-off spots.

If you know of any local spots where you can drop off alkaline batteries for recycling, please share.

Rechargeable batteries and/or batteries that include heavy metals
Some of these look like regular batteries, but their composition includes materials such as "nickel-cadmium" or "lithium ion." Other batteries in this category include those "button" batteries in watches or the battery packs in some types of electronics. These batteries do include toxic materials (like cadmium) and should not be tossed in the trash.

In fact, New York State has a law -- the aptly titled "NYS Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act" -- that prohibits these batteries from being placed in the regular trash. It also requires retailers and manufacturers to take back the batteries -- at no charge to the consumer -- for recycling. It took effect in 2011.

Product manufacturers have funded an org to coordinate a take back program -- it has a listing of places that take back batteries.

Alternately, your trash hauler probably has household hazardous waste days for getting rid of this kind of stuff -- and other sorts of old electronics -- and these batteries can usually be handed off then.

Lead acid batteries: This is a related category of battery -- they contain lead (obviously), which is bad for the environment -- but the collection process is a bit different. Most lead acid batteries you'll encounter are stuff like car batteries. You can return these to retailers that sell those types of batteries. If you don't bring in an old battery when buying a new one, the retailer can charge you $5 as a "return incentive payment." If you bring in a used battery within 30 days, you get the $5 back.

Comments

I believe Best Buy and Staples both provide battery recycling.

There is a battery recycling bin at the Lowes on Rt 9 in Latham. It's right near the return counter at the front of the store.

For years, UAlbany has had buckets around campus (for example in the Humanities building Basement level) where people can drop off batteries for recycling. Don't know what happens to them after that, but I've been bringing them in for years.

eLot in Troy lists multiple battery types, including alkaline, under the 'What We Recycle' tab (upper right).
http://elotrecycling.com/residential-electronics-recycling/

Original poster here. Specifically, I'm looking to get rid of a dead sealed lead-acid battery. I thought of taking it to The Battery Store in Rotterdam Junction, but was unable to reach them via any of the phone numbers listed for them (518-214-0006 & 518-218-6997).

Ok smarties - whats the best way to get rid of those little Propane tanks that i use for camping/tailgating?

At this point i have more than a few and i dont know what to do with them

http://www.bipowerusa.com/documents/disposal.asp

Scott, go to http://www.call2recycle.org/locator/ and put in your address to find the nearest site that accepts rechargeable batteries. According to their "materials accepted" this includes Small Sealed Lead (SSLA/Pb) which sounds like what you have.

Battery Solutions, in Howell MI accepts all types of batteries for recycling nationwide from residences, businesses, government agencies, universities and hospitals. In addition, we operate an Alkaline battery recycling plant in Michigan that uses the greenest technology available in the US to fully recycle all components of these batteries. We have all inclusive Kits for purchase in various sizes and we manage Bulk quantities for larger generators. Please visit our website, Facebook page or Call (800) 852-8127 for more information.

Saratoga county's recycling depots accept Sealed Lead Acid batteries (ie car batteries).

For car batteries, Advance Auto Parts will give you a $5 gift card whether or not you bought it there.

NYS DEC keeps a guide to a variety of odd recyclables and what to do with them:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/oddrecyclables.pdf

There's really not much to do with an alkaline battery, and not much worry about putting them in the trash.

There used to be a battery recycling box in the lobby of Lake Ave school in Saratoga, but now that our kid has graduated we find ourselves awash in dead alkaline batteries that are no longer accepted at reycling centers.

The Battery Solutions folks above have the most attractive disposal solution in my view. They'll send you a bucket that will accept 35 pounds of batteries, and it costs $54 including shipping both ways. That's a lot of batteries and since they are so much cheaper than they used to be I don't feel like this is an outrageously expensive option.

The other thing I've thought about is just packing a sack of them with me each time I go to San Francisco, where non-rechargeable battery recycling is mandatory, and dumping them in the bin at Rainbow Grocery. That's free to me, but I wonder about the overall carbon cost of transporting by air vs UPS to Battery Solutions in Michigan.

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