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What types of rechargeable batteries can be recycled?

If itís rechargeable, itís recyclable! The following rechargeable battery chemistries can be recycled - Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn), and Small Sealed Lead* (Pb). Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, two-way radios, camcorders, and remote control toys.

Are there any safety guidelines that must be followed when dropping off my rechargeable batteries?

To minimize any safety risks, before dropping your rechargeable batteries or cell phones into the collection box, please place each individual rechargeable battery, or cell phone with battery, into a separate plastic bag. If plastic bags are unavailable at the collection location, you can cover the battery terminals with tape (electrical, duct, or masking). Remember: ONE rechargeable battery or ONE cell phone with battery, per bag.

How are the rechargeable batteries and cell phones recycled?

Retailers, businesses, communities and public agencies send the collected batteries and cell phones to a recycling facility for processing. A thermal recovery process reclaims the metals (nickel, iron, cadmium, lead, and cobalt) from the batteries and prepares them for use in new products such as new batteries and stainless steel. Cell phones are refurbished and resold when possible. All rechargeable batteries from cell phones are recycled.

Why is it important to recycle rechargeable batteries and cell phones?

Consumers use an average of six wireless products in their day-to-day lives, and the average cell phone is replaced (or upgraded) every 18 to 24 months. That's a lot of rechargeable batteries and cell phones, so we want to make sure that they are properly disposed of and donít end up in our landfills. Remember - when it's time to retire your old cell phones or replace your rechargeable batteries Ė Recycle Them! You'll help preserve natural resources and keep discarded products out of landfills

How do I get the most out of my cordless electronic productsí rechargeable batteries?

Follow the charging guidelines provided by the manufacturer. There are specific initial battery charging times for each individual product before using it for the first time.
Never return a fully-charged nicad/nimh battery to the charger for an extra boost. This will shorten the life of the battery. Let a discharged battery cool to room temperature before recharging. Recharge batteries only when they are near to fully discharge.

Also...
Lead-acid batteries are the environmental success story of our time. More than 97% of all battery lead is recycled. Compared to 55% of aluminum soft drink and beer cans, 45% of newspapers, 26% of glass bottles and 26% of tires, lead-acid batteries top the list of the most highly recycled consumer product.

The lead-acid battery gains its environmental edge from its closed-loop life cycle. The typical new lead-acid battery contains 60% to 80% recycled lead and plastic. When a spent battery is collected, it is sent to a permitted recycler where, under strict environmental regulations, the lead and plastic are reclaimed and sent to a new battery manufacturer. The recycling cycle goes on indefinitely. That means the lead and plastic in the lead-acid battery in your car, truck, boat or motorcycle have been - and will continue to be -- recycled many, many times. This makes lead-acid battery disposal extremely successful from both environmental and cost perspectives.
Lead acid battery safety efforts by the battery industry have led to the adoption of battery recycling laws in 38 states while five others have disposal bans. What other industry works so hard to steward its product from the beginning of its service life, through distribution, collection of old product, recycling and reclamation, and back to another service life? What other industry takes responsibility to meet stringent environmental regulations that protect the environment while providing a critical recycling service?

Air Filtration, Clean Water, Clean Air, Work Practices, Fugitive Emissions
More than 80% of lead produced in the United States is used in lead-acid batteries. The battery industry takes pride in its advanced technology and common sense practices that dramatically reduce lead emissions from manufacturing and recycling facilities.
The battery industry is regulated by local, state, and federal agencies, which inspect manufacturing and recycling plants to verify that the companies are meeting standards.

When taken together, all of these practices add up to a very responsible effort on the part of lead-acid battery manufacturers and recyclers to keep even small amounts of lead out of the environment. Together, the efforts make a measureable difference.
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