With holiday season upon us, this is the perfect time to declutter your junk drawers, closets, attic and basement in time for friends and family to visit. If these areas of your home contain used batteries, you’re in good company. One in five households store some or all of their used batteries from the past year, according to a recent Nielsen study conducted on behalf of Call2Recycle.
Whether it’s electronics packed away in the attic or boxed toys in the basement, old batteries are everywhere. As part of your decluttering efforts this holiday season, experts say it’s worthwhile to take the time to gather used batteries and properly recycle them.
“Along with the thanks we give during the holiday season comes responsibility for the gifts we send and receive,” said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, Inc. “This includes safely recycling batteries found in many technology products. “Responsible disposal of electronics is vital during the holidays especially since the hottest tech gadgets — many powered by rechargeable batteries — are such popular gifts.”
Recycling used batteries is not only good for the environment, but it also can play an important role in keeping families safe this holiday season. Unfortunately, even batteries that appear dead can contain a residual charge, which could lead to a spark.
From old power tools to cordless telephones, cameras, e-readers, tablets and cellphones, many people don’t know what to do when batteries no longer hold a charge. Indeed, more than half of individuals throwing away battery-operated electronic devices leave the battery attached. This is a dangerous act, especially if the batteries are Lithium-based.
So, after hauling your holiday decorations out of storage, be sure to check that there aren’t any forgotten batteries hiding under cherished mementos.
Use this time of extra motivation to also test and change the batteries in all the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors around your house. Don’t get too busy to do this important task. Checking expiration dates for both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors does not take very long, and could be the difference between life and death.
Once you’ve gathered all of those spent batteries around your house, Call2Recycle suggests the following steps.
Tape: Protect the ends/terminals with non-conductive, electrical duct or clear packing tape.
Bag: Store the taped batteries in a clear plastic bag that closes.
Drop: Recycle your rechargeable batteries for free at a convenient Call2Recycle drop-off
location. With over 50 drop-off locations in the greater Twin Cities area, it’s an easy item to check off your to-do list while completing errands and holiday shopping.
To find a battery recycling center near you, visit call2recycle.org/locator. You can also check to see if your job has a battery recycling program.
For a safe and happy holiday season, take the step of recycling your used batteries. It’s a simple way to prepare your home, make a positive impact on the environment and keep the people and property you love safe.
For more information on battery recycling, visit call2recycle.org.
—Information and photo provided by StatePoint and Call 2 Recycle.