Each year, as new technologies emerge and replace older, less useful products, there are always things that are disposed of improperly, ending up in landfills. Batteries, both single use and rechargeable, are just one of the multitude of electronic products that are difficult to dispose of. Typical recycling programs do not take these materials and in most areas, finding a way to dispose of these can be incredibly costly. Fortunately, this issue is being worked on by major manufacturers and some solutions are now in place.
Rechargeable batteries have been gaining in popularity over the past few years and are both more environmentally sound and more inexpensive (overall) to use for most electronic devices. Once these batteries have been depleted, there are a few different ways to dispose of them.
First, ask about battery replacement options for devices like cell-phones and lap-tops. Some retailers offer a battery exchange program, where there is a discount for replacing the old battery. Call2Recycle.org also offers free battery recycling at any collection location.
Single use batteries are much more difficult to dispose of. This is because they use much less valuable material in their production and are filled with chemicals that are hazardous to handle. Major manufacturers are working on a solution to battery recycling that would make it more cost effective. Unfortunately, this is not yet in place. Even so, there are companies like Battery Solutions that offer inexpensive recycling kits for businesses and residential areas, as well as area recycling programs that will take these for free.