February 03, 2014

Battery Recycling

I tend to use, accumulate, and collect a lot of batteries.

Part of that is vocation and hobbies:
  • I own a case full of mostly battery powered test equipment for my engineering business. 
  • I play music semi-professionally, with the need to replace batteries in guitars, foot-pedals, portable recorders. 
  • I crew for (and occasionally ride in) hot air balloons, so often burn through a set of AA batteries as I take 30-40 digital photos during a morning flight
  • I spend a week each year at a folk festival, and another at a summer camp
  • I tend to collect and horde the batteries used a the yoga center (wireless headsets) because I know they are not getting recycled there. 
In addition, I have the usual assortment of consumer battery needs - remote controls, smoke detectors, portable radios, flashlights. I try not to overuse batteries, but they do add up.

And I do *not* want to simply toss them away. In the past I have taken them to Whole Foods, but I get to that store so infrequently (I joke that I almost never go north of New Britain Avenue in West Hartford) and I do not want to bring in 10 pounds of expired batteries.

So looking around the web,  I found this company - Battery Solutions. For a not insignificant price, you can purchase an iRecycle Kit - fill the box (or tub) with batteries, ship it off (pre-paid) and they are out of your hair and presumably not going to a landfill.

I love the business model, although I'd love to see some form of government support or grant money used to fund this (pretty sure most consumers would not choose to internalize the costs of disposing of batteries the way I will, and just throw them out)

One of my pet "make the world a better place" back burner projects is to set up a battery recycling service - placing recycling bins or tubs at likely locations and collecting the batteries periodically, either for free (if there is money to be made from the recycling) or at a nominal cost.

But in the meantime, I'll spread the word about these folks...

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