Recycle Single-Use Batteries in Pittsburgh
by Shannon Wozinak
December 30, 2020
They’re in your TV remotes, children’s toys, flashlights and yet we think nothing of it as we toss out the exhausted single-use batteries to be replaced by new ones entering the cycle. There’s more to those batteries than providing a charge. Since the ‘90s, regulations removed mercury from the production of single-use batteries to make them safer to be thrown out in your regular waste. While safer to throw away, it’s not safer environmentally.
The chemicals inside these batteries make their way to landfills and pollute the environment by leaking their toxic content into the surrounding ecosystems.
Why Alkaline Batteries?
These batteries are a common household item that can be recycled and reused many times over because of the materials within them. Zinc, manganese, steel, paper, plastic and brass are disassembled from the battery and separated, making alkaline batteries over 99-percent recyclable!
These batteries can’t be recycled through Pittsburgh’s curbside recycling program, but here are some of the local options when it comes to recycling your single-use batteries:
Frick Environmental Center: There is a free battery recycling receptacle in the main building at the Frick Environmental Center. They accept both alkaline and rechargeable batteries.
PRC: The Pennsylvania Resource Council accepts alkaline batteries at their Hard-to-Recycle collection events.
Construction Junction: They accept alkaline batteries.
Batteries Plus Bulbs: There are many items they recycling, including alkaline batteries.
IKEA: The IKEA at Robinson Town Center has a free battery recycling receptacle inside the lobby at the store exit. They accept alkaline and rechargeable batteries.
Rechargeable Batteries Are the Way to Go
Single-use batteries are harmful for the environment as they don’t decompose easily and release their chemical contents into the soil and water. By choosing rechargeable batteries, you reduce the amount of toxic waste in our area and your carbon footprint. As your old batteries die, keep them aside and make that trip to one of these resources for your recycled batteries. Store used batteries in a secure container keeping them lined up-side-by-side to make sure they don’t come in contact with any conductor that may cause a spark. Small as they are, single-use batteries have a huge impact on our environment.