Q:

What are some free or cost-effective ways to recycle alkaline batteries?

A:

Quick Answer

One free way to recycle alkaline batteries includes dropping them off at a household hazardous waste collection event hosted by cities and counties. Some cities also have dedicated household hazardous waste locations that accept alkaline batteries all year.

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Full Answer

Finding a local household hazardous waste collection event might make take some work. The local city or county website may contain a list of when the next collection takes place. Due to the fact that these household hazardous waste facilities only hold events a few times a year, this may require a person to store batteries until such an event takes place. The Earth911 website also has a search option that lets a person find local recycling facilities that accept alkaline batteries.

California is the only state that requires individuals to recycle alkaline batteries as of 2015. In all other states, it is legal to throw single-use batteries in the trash. However, because rechargeable batteries contain mercury, it is required to recycle these types of batteries in all of the United States because of the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act passed in 1996. Places such as Staples and RadioShack, who have partnered with Call2Recycle, accept rechargeable batteries for free at their stores.

If there is no local hazardous waste collection event or dedicated collection site, mail-in programs, such as Big Green Box and Battery Solutions, send recycling boxes to a person's home to collect different types of batteries, including alkaline batteries. However, this recycling option is not necessarily cost-effective. As of 2015, one recycling box from the Big Green Box costs $63, and a 5-pound recycle kit from Battery Solutions costs $34.95.

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