Recycling - Batteries and E-Waste
Disposal of used consumer electronics and batteries is a growing concern for solid waste professionals across the country. Consumer electronics typically contain toxins such as lead, cadmium, chromium, mercury, beryllium, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and brominated flame retardants. Batteries contain cadmium, copper, zinc, lead, manganese, nickel, and lithium.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, two million tons of "tech trash" ended up in landfills in 2005, with less than 10% being recycled. Manufacturer take-back programs are growing in popularity, as is the concept of "Extended Producer Responsibility" - an emerging concept in which manufacturers assume some or all of the burden of recycling their products. Until the concept is universal, consumers and local governments must take the initiative to recycle their electronic items and batteries.
Call2RecycleŽ is a program of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) promoting environmental sustainability by providing free battery and cell phone recycling in North America.
The National Resources Defense Council has a good pamphlet called "What To Do About E-Waste" with lots of helpful information for keeping computers, printers, cell phones and other used electronics out of the waste stream.