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"Any battery made within the past 20 years does not post an environmental risk."

EDITOR'S NOTE: All of Ask Renee's columns are moving to NUVO! Here's one from July of 2015.

Find more Ask Renee columns here: nuvo.net/askrenee


Good Morning, Renee!

I have a question about spent batteries. For years I took them to the Public Library, but they discontinued collecting them there. Are places there I can drop off spent batteries without having to drive to a tox drop location or wait for a tox away day?

Thanks, Julie

Good Afternoon, Julie!

Happy to answer your questions, free of charge. The positive news is that mercury has been eliminated from alkaline batteries for many years, so any battery made within the past 20 years does not post an environmental risk.

Alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, 9V, etc.) are made of very recyclable materials, like steel, zinc and manganese. However, due to hazards in storage and the recycling process, not many places are recycling batteries yet.

Interstate Batteries has eight locations in Indiana that will accept all types of batteries for recycling. Their web site claims that they actually recycle more batteries than they sell!

Lighting Resources has a location in Greenwood that accepts batteries for recycling during business hours (M-F, 8-5) and they were extremely nice and helpful on the phone, assuring me that all batteries go to a smelter where the metals are removed and recycled. They also offer battery recycling kits that you can order online, collect batteries, and return to them for a small fee.

Piece out,


(NOTE: This letter appeared in the July 1, 2015 edition of NUVO.)


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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at rsweany@sbcglobal.net.
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