How To: Recycle batteries

Recycle batteries

Those old cell phone and laptop batteries staring you in the eye? Don't worry, recycling them is easy.

Step 1: Collect your leftover batteries
Collect all your leftover batteries. Rechargeable batteries from cell phones and laptops are especially important to recycle since they contain toxic materials that could damage the environment. Also, car batteries are always recyclable.

If you don't know if your battery needs to be recycled, follow this basic rule—if it's rechargeable, it's recyclable.

Step 2: Check with the store
Check the store where you bought your electronics to see if they recycle. Many do.

Step 3: Locate a recycling center
If the store doesn't recycle, find a recycling center on the nonprofit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation's website at rbrc.org. Type in your zip code and a list of locations appears.

You can also call 1-800-8-Battery if you have questions about recycling rechargeable batteries.

Step 4: Recycle pre-1997 batteries
If you have other used batteries like AA, AAA, C, D and nine-volt batteries, they will need to be recycled if they were made before 1997—since they contain large amounts of mercury. One place that recycles this sort of battery is batteryrecycling.com. They charge 85 cents a pound, but isn't the environment worth it?

Step 5: Trash regular post-1997 batteries
Your household batteries made after 1997 usually can't be recycled. Because they no longer contain so much mercury, you can just throw them away—but perhaps you should consider using rechargeable batteries instead.

Fact: The world's biggest battery—located in Fairbanks, Alaska—is bigger than a soccer field and weighs more than 1,300 tons.

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