Eco Videos

Recycling Batteries

Recycling Batteries

Here’s the latest eco-video from our good friends at Grist. OK, we aren’t really friends so much as acquaintances. And by acquaintances I mean we’re rabid fans who stalk Grist staff and have a holy shrine with all their pictures on it.

Their latest video is a quick and sassy look at why and how to recycle batteries. What mainly caught our attention though was that although the video is titled “Cell Out: How-To Dispose of Batteries” it doesn’t really tell us how to dispose of batteries beyond stating that some companies will accept rechargeable batteries for recycling and then goes on tell us how to make a battery out of a lemon like we might shove one into our TV remote. (I’m so sorry, we still love you like mad!)

Upon looking into it more closely it seems that battery recycling isn’t exactly a straightforward situation even though it’s extremely important. Consider that household batteries are responsible for between 50 and 70 percent of all heavy metals found in landfills.

As they say in the above video, rechargable batteries can be recycled. What they don’t tell you is what to do with the non-recharble batteries. Normal household batteries can’t be recycled but that doesn’t mean they should be thrown in the trash (or the blue bin like Umbra does). They can go to  a special waste disposal program that differs in each community. Just google where to dispose of batteries in your location and then stockpile them for an occasional battery dump. Or better yet, rely on rechargables with one of these handy solar battery rechargers.

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View Comments (2)


  1. Daniel K

    March 27, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Really nice video, however, Alkaline Batteries can be recycled. The Big Green Box has a nation-wide mail back program to collect all battery chemistries. Alkaline Batteries are sent to one of their facilities in Trail, British Columbia, where they are processed and broken down to their base components.

  2. Jake

    March 27, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Thanks Daniel, great tip!

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