While batteries have a reputation for being bad for the environment, there are only a certain type of batteries that are dangerous to the environment.
Since Congress passed the Mercury-Containing Battery Management Act in 1996, most batteries have evolved so they don't contain the dangerous metals that are bad for the environment.
However, rechargeable batteries that are found in many electronics, including computers and cell phones, still contain mercury and dangerous metals which mean it's important to dispose of these properly.
If not disposed of improperly, these metals, which include cadmium, lead and cobalt, will diffuse into soil and water. This contaminates the affected areas, which dirties the water and makes it unsafe to drink. It can even mean that these metals get into the human body, which can cause illness.
Because of this, rechargeable batteries should not be thrown away in the trash. These batteries need to be recycled properly to ensure that the metals don't impact our environment.
What Can I Do?
There are several organizations that will collect batteries to ensure proper disposal. These are run in correlation with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation. Call2Recycle is one such organization, where consumers can find drop boxes near their home to properly dispose of rechargeable batteries.
Overall, the process to dispose of rechargeable batteries is much easier than it has been in the past. Because of this, consumers can keep Mother Earth clean and healthy by being aware of the process to dispose rechargeable batteries and act responsibly when doing so.
- Alkaline batteries no longer contain metals that are dangerous to the environment
- Rechargeable batteries can still have negative effects on the environment if not disposed properly
- Organizations often hold collections to dispose of rechargeable batteries properly
- Online companies will buy or take old electronics that have rechargeable batteries
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