These days, there are so many things in our lives that are powered by a battery.  But did you know that it is illegal to just throw them away in New York State?

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From our cellphones to our garage door openers, to our children's toys, just about everything has a battery in it nowadays.

I was sitting at the breakfast table this morning and was trying to find a replacement battery for one of my daughter's toys, as the one we had would no longer charge.  As I was searching online to find a replacement, I noticed the picture of a garbage can on the side of the battery with a giant X through it.

I guess it never really dawned on me that batteries should not be thrown in the garbage when you are done with them.  It turns out that here in the Empire State, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), it is illegal for any person to throw rechargeable batteries in the trash.  This stems from the NYS Rechargeable Battery Law (Law), Article 27, Title 18 of the Environmental Conservation Law, which was signed into law on December 10, 2010.

You see, rechargeable batteries contain toxic metals that can be released into the environment when improperly disposed of, so throwing them in your garbage or recycling bin is a no-no.  What could happen?  To quote the great Dennis Hopper from his Nike commercial years ago, "Bad things man...Bad things"

There are several types of batteries that can't be thrown in the trash, including but not limited to:

  • Nickel-cadmium
  • Sealed lead
  • Lithium-ion
  • Nickel metal hydride
  • Any other dry cell battery capable of being recharged
  • Battery packs containing any of the above-mentioned batteries

So what is a New Yorker to do when it comes to disposing of them?  Well, for one all stores in New York State that sell rechargeable batteries or products containing them must accept rechargeable batteries for recycling. No purchase is necessary.

If you can't find a store near you to drop off rechargeable batteries, you can CLICK HERE to find a drop-off location. Or call the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at (877) 273-2925, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm.

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