Jeffrey B. Banke / Shutterstock.com Batteries (Single Use) Hazardous Waste See Alternatives Illegal in Garbage & Drains Jeffrey B. Banke / Shutterstock.com Through the IWMA’s SLO Take Back Program, every retailer that sells household batteries in San Luis Obispo County must take those items back from the public for FREE. To be recycled through this program, batteries should be fully discharged. Our friends at Call2Recycle reported 14 million lbs. of batteries and cell phones were recycled in 2016 thanks to people like you! We hope you help spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues about National Battery Day coming up this Saturday, February 18th and bring all unwanted batteries and cell phones to any free drop off location near you. You can also get involved by sharing the Call2Recycle Campaign https://www.facebook.com/Call2Recycle/ on your social media platform, and emphasize how easy it is to recycle by including this link http://www.call2recycle.org/locator/ of locations near you. You can also visit the Call2Recylce website (http://www.call2recycle.org/) for more information. Find out what to do with household hazardous waste Never Throw in the Trash Batteries are banned from the trash because they contain metals and other toxic and corrosive chemicals that can leach into the environment. All batteries, including sizes AAA, AA, C and D, need to be disposed of as Household Hazardous Waste. Alternative Ways to Recycle The Battery Solutions Recycling Program Battery Solutions offers battery recycling kits and services to businesses, municipalities and residences. Their programs aim to help people recycle their batteries properly and conveniently. Learn more. The Big Green Box Battery Recycling Program The Big Green Box is a mail-in battery recycling program for both residences and businesses. Their system is simple: order a box, fill it up with your used batteries and then ship it back to the company’s EPA-approved recycling center. Learn more. Ways to Reduce Buy Rechargeable Batteries Most single use batteries can be replaced by rechargeable ones. Consider switching batteries so you can reduce how much hazardous waste you generate. Today’s rechargeable batteries are even made to have the same battery life as single use ones. Conserve Battery Life Try conserving the battery life of your electronics so you can get more use out of those batteries. Turn off battery-powered devices when they’re not in use, and avoid exposing electronics to cold conditions. Did You Know? Battery Explodes in Garbage Truck One battery recently caused an explosion in a UK garbage truck, starting a fire and contaminating over six tons of recycling. Because batteries contain chemicals that can ignite, it is important to dispose of them correctly, and not just toss them in with other trash or recycling. Battery Technology Innovations “A battery will do for the electricity supply chain what refrigeration did to our food supply chain” said MIT electrochemist Donald Sadoway in a Grist article. Sadoway and his peers are developing new battery technology using materials such as molten metal and saltwater. The energy-storage capacity of these technologies could lead to a new era for electric cars and the electricity grid.