HOUSEHOLD BATTERY RECYCLING
Nobody has to tell you that we use a lot of batteries around our homes. Batteries provide power to many items found around the house from watches, to flashlights, to cell phones. Each year about 3 billion batteries are purchased in the Unites States, nearly ten for every citizen. On the average, each person in the US discards eight dry-cell batteries per year, or over ¼ million in Elk Grove Village alone. Inside batteries, a heavy metal reacts with a chemical electrolyte to produce the battery’s power. Over the years batteries (alkaline) have become more environmentally friendly, but some batteries still contain hazardous chemicals. If they are disposed of improperly they can contaminate the environment.
Almost every home has some dry-cell or alkaline batteries. They come in many sizes, AA, AAA, C, D, and 6/9 volts. When your dry-cell/alkaline batteries stop working you may bring them to the Village Municipal Complex during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM, for proper recycling. Bring them to the Health & Community Services Counter in the main building atrium.
You may also have so-called “button’ batteries, small; flat, round, metal batteries. These batteries are found in watches, hearing aids, toys, and cameras. They may contain mercuric oxide, silver oxide or lithium.
One way to reduce the amount of batteries you use every year is to purchase rechargeable batteries. Nearly one-in-five dry-cell batteries sold in the US are rechargeable. Over its useful life, each rechargeable battery may replace hundreds of single-use batteries. Other types of rechargeable batteries are required in many household items such as power tools, cell phones computers, laptops, digital cameras, radio control toys, etc. They also can be charged multiple times. The downside of these batteries is that they also contain heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium or nickel and must be recycled properly. These batteries can harm the environment if disposed of improperly.
The Village will also accept your “button” batteries and rechargeable (Lithium, NiMh and NiCad) batteries. Before bringing rechargeable or “button” batteries into the Village for recycling, residents must cover the contact points of each battery with masking tape, or place each rechargeable/”button” battery in an individual self-locking plastic bag. See above for drop off days/hours and location.
Rechargeable batteries can also be recycled at many local retailers such as electronic stores, large hardware stores, office supply outlets, and cell phone providers. Some recycling centers also accept, and pay you, for larger rechargeable batteries. Call first before bringing them to a specific location. When purchasing an electronic item ask the retailer if they will recycle the battery when it will no longer take a charge.
The Village will not accept any lead acid (car/marine) batteries for recycling. Call your local automobile parts or retailer to see if they accept those batteries for recycling.