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How to Recycle Used Batteries


More from Outdoor Living Newsletter November Outdoor Living Newsletter
 
Recycle batteries
Get rid of used batteries the Earth-Friendly way

From powering your RV to your digital cameras and cellphones, batteries have played an important role to make a camping road trip comfortable, enjoyable and memorable. But batteries don't last forever; even those rechargeable batteries. It is only a matter of time before they die and we have to get rid of these used batteries and replace them with new ones.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 3 billion dry cell batteries are disposed each year, or an average of about eight batteries per American. Rechargeable and other types of batteries are not yet included in the numbers. That's a lot of batteries being disposed across the country!

Hazards of Improper Disposal of Used Batteries

Lots of RVers tend to just simply throw their used batteries into their trash once they reach the end of their lives. This is a big mistake!

For starters, some states like California have policies that make it illegal not to recycle used batteries. Those that are caught violating these policies - even if you are just visiting the state for an RV trip - can easily result in hefty fines and other penalties.

Another is its impact on the environment. Batteries that are used to power common electronic gadgets and tools in and around your RV are made out of different metal compounds that are considered to be hazardous to the environment. When you throw batteries in the trash, these are then dumped into the different landfills in the country. Over time, the different heavy metals that are used in manufacturing disposable batteries leach from solid waste landfills, polluting our lands and waters.

Where You Should Take Used Batteries for Recycling

You can bring your used batteries to have them recycled at:

  • Car Battery Retailers. Most authorized car and RV battery retail stores like AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts double up as recycling centers where you can bring your old RV battery and have it recycled for free.
  • Clubs and Organizations. This is not just limited to those that are devoted in protecting and saving the environment. Many organizations and clubs from various sectors are now launching recycling programs. For instance, AAA has an annual program where they collect discarded batteries of cars, RVs and other vehicles. Those that bring in their used batteries are also given a free battery check. If you are a member of any RV club or organization, contact them to see if they have any similar programs like this where you can bring in your used batteries to have them recycled.
  • Electronic Stores. Stores like Best Buy, Circuit City and even Walmart have recycling kiosks stationed within their establishments where you can bring in all different kinds of used batteries to be recycled free of charge. These are usually found near the front entrance of the store. They accept all sorts of batteries even if they were purchased elsewhere.

So don't let your old batteries become a landfill statistic and environmental hazard. Help protect our land, rivers and wildlife by avoiding the trash can. Take them down to a recycling center near you.

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