By Don Brunell
Each year Americans throw away more than 3 billion batteries constituting 180,000 tons of hazardous material and the situation is likely to get much worse as the world shifts to electric vehicles.
Everyday-green.com reports more than 86,000 tons of single-use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C and D) are thrown away. They power electronic toys and games, portable audio equipment and flashlights and make up 20% of the household hazardous materials in our garbage dumps.
Unlike composted waste, batteries are hazardous and contaminate our environment, particularly our drinking water. Even though the harmful materials are tightly encased, the casing is often crushed during landfilling. The spent batteries contain toxic acids and metals such as mercury, nickel, cadmium, cobalt, lead and zinc.
While it is convenient to just chuck used batteries into the trash, the more expensive rechargeable types can…