Batteries are found in many of the electronic devices we have in our homes, businesses and public agencies. All of these batteries must eventually be disposed of, and some batteries should be managed as a hazardous waste because of their toxic contents or reactive properties. Batteries may contain one or more of the following eight metals: cadmium, lead, zinc, manganese, nickel, silver, mercury, and lithium, as well as acids. When disposed of in an unlined landfill, a battery can leach its toxic constituents and contaminate groundwater, resulting in possible exposure to humans. The 1996 federal Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Batter Act was a major step in the effort to facilitate the recycling of nickel-cadmium and certain small sealed lead-acid rechargeable batteries, and to phase out the use of mercury batteries.
For additional information:
The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) is a non-profit, industry-sponsored organization that provides workable plans to collect, transport and recycle used rechargeable batteries.
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