Do you have solar powered yard lights that don’t work anymore? A Bluetooth speaker or an electric toothbrush that won’t hold a charge? Are you finally ready to part with that musical birthday card, even if it is from your favorite aunt?
What these all have in common is that they rely on batteries of some type. Sometimes they are obvious, and sometimes they are cleverly concealed. And it goes without saying that no battery can last forever. When it comes time to either rejuvenate the device or dispose of it, in all cases it is a good idea to remove the old battery and dispose of it responsibly, as indicated in this chart from the Howard County Bureau of Environmental Services. Note that only alkaline batteries should be disposed of in your household trash! Because all other batteries contain elements that can either be recycled or need to be disposed of as hazardous waste, they should be taken to a recycling center such as the Alpha Ridge Landfill, or one of several local retail establishments, including Home Depot, IKEA, Lowes, My Organic Market (MOMs), REI Columbia and Staples.
And if you aren’t sure how to get to your battery, or what you need to replace it, that’s where your friendly neighborhood Repair Café can help!
One other important tip: If you have a battery powered device that hasn’t been used in a while, especially with alkaline batteries, it is a good idea to remove the batteries. The damage caused by leaking batteries is one of the most common problems that we see in the Repair Café, and it can be one of the hardest to deal with.