Happy National Battery Day!
(Yes this is a real thing.)
The purpose of the day is actually to celebrate how valuable batteries are to our everyday life. And once you stop to think about it, they really are everywhere. Cell phones, TV remotes, cars, toys, heck even the wireless keyboard I’m using right now! Batteries are great while they’re working but even the Energizer Bunny will stop playing his drum eventually. So what happens when batteries die and we just toss them in the regular garbage?
Batteries contain toxic materials – cadmium, nickel, lead, lithium, sometimes even mercury. All of these materials are hazardous waste and can do serious damage to the environment if improperly disposed of in a landfill. The toxins can leak out and can get into soils and ground water, causing harm to plants and animals. Cadmium, for example, can damage micro-organisms in soil, affecting the breakdown of organic matter. Fish found in waterways polluted with some of these chemicals are no longer edible for humans. Not good!
Luckily, there is a solution: Recycling! A majority of the batteries you’ll ever come into contact with are completely recyclable. Many municipalities have household hazardous waste collections that will accept batteries. You can find more information on batteries and how to recycle them here.