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Recycling Hearing Aid Batteries

Recycle, Don't Trash

By

Updated February 20, 2011

Don't throw your used hearing aid batteries (sometimes referred to as button battery scrap) in the trash, and never in a fire (because they could explode). By law, you are not required to recycle hearing aid batteries, but battery users are encouraged to recycle.

Why recycle hearing aid batteries?

The zinc in zinc-air batteries is a hazardous component. So is the mercury or mercuric oxide if the battery contains mercury. The danger in throwing them in the garbage when used up, is that when the batteries are dumped at a landfill, over time, the decaying of the batteries could release harmful chemicals into the environment.

Some states, like California, classify hearing aid batteries as Universal Waste (or consider them hazardous waste) and prohibit their being placed in the trash. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control offers suggestions to homeowners on how to discard batteries. These suggestions include checking with local government or waste services for recycling information.

Where Can You Recycle Hearing Aid Batteries?

  • Some stores, hearing aid retailers, or hearing clinics will accept them for recycling.
  • Some county governments have recycling programs; check with your local county.
  • National chain retailers known to accept used batteries (not all of the stores in the chain may accept hearing aid batteries):
    • Radio Shack
    • Miracle Aid centers
    • Audibel centers

To find a recycling location near you, you can use the Earth 911 website. The recycling collection sites in the search results may not accept hearing aid batteries.

How Batteries Are Recycled

The toxic components are extracted and re-sold by recycling companies. The remainder is safe for the landfill.
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