Photo: How to recycle batteries

How to recycle batteries. (Credit: Peter Nijenhuis via Flickr)

Remember when we were kids and batteries went in the trash? (Like everything.)

Then remember when we found out that batteries were actually household hazardous waste and that they shouldn't be in landfills?

So you saved batteries until you had a drawer full — with the best of intentions to recycle them — only there was nowhere to make good on your benevolent desire. When the drawer couldn't close, they got dumped in the trash anyway.

That was in what, the late 1990s? It's taken a little while for the infrastructure to catch up to the knowledge, but battery recycling has arrived. The statistics corroborate this — the percentage of batteries being recycled is rising steadily!

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Free battery collection sites are now commonplace across Canada. Meet the battery and cellphone recycling organization Call 2 Recycle, whose drop boxes have popped up in hundreds of recycling depots, retail locations, community centres and non-profit offices across the country.

Punch your location into Call 2 Recycle's interactive map and be amazed by the recycling ease in your community. Note: in some provinces non-rechargeable batteries are not accepted.

So what are you to do with those single-use alkaline batteries? Or if you are one of the folks on the final frontier, with no obvious battery drop boxes in your neighbourhood?

1. Do not throw the batteries in the trash!
2. Visit municipal and provincial websites to find resources for recycling not just batteries but all sorts of less-than-desirable waste items.
3. Western Canadians can also recycle batteries at all London Drugs locations.

Of course, the fewer batteries we use, the fewer batteries we need to dispose of.

When batteries are required, choose re-usable (and consequently recyclable) options.

Maximize your investment by following manufacturer recommendations to extend battery life. Simple measures like properly charging batteries before initial use and avoiding falling into a "continuous charge" habit will keep you operational for longer.

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