Batteries keep us wired – from our toys to our cellphones – but all that power impacts our health and safety as well as the environment. Alkaline batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel. At the dump, these harmful metals leak into groundwater or get released in the air. These heavy metals degrade our environment one battery at a time.
While batteries may seem small, they add up. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that United States households annually discards over 3 billion household batteries, resulting in more than 125,000 tons of waste. That’s a lot of batteries!
However, don’t get buried under those batteries. There are simple, straightforward options for battery recycling. Bellevue College Faculty and Staff have been collecting batteries for proper disposal for years. After gathering enough batteries, they take them to a recycling facility.
Now, thanks to the Captains of Sustainability at Bellevue College, staff and faculty are expanding their efforts. Around the campus, employees are collecting batteries from office use. Captains of Sustainability are collecting batteries from the peers. When they have loaded up small boxes they will send them to proper disposal.
Curious where to recycle batteries? Here are several East Side locations:
Whole Foods Bellevue: 888 116th Ave Northeast, Bellevue, WA 98004
Factoria Hazardous Waste Drop-off: 3800 SE 32nd St., Bellevue, WA 98005
Renton Recycling: 720 Thomas Ave SW, Renton, WA 98057
Beyond batteries, households produce tons of waste that should not be dumped in landfills. Televisions, microwaves, computers, printers, and various other items are hazardously discarded every day.
Don’t know what to do with that item? See King County’s “What do I do with?…” resource disposal resource online. You’ll find organizations close to you where you can responsibly discard and recycle used electronics, mattresses, batteries, computers, and many other items.