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