Why Recycle?

Why should we recycle our old electronics, bulbs and batteries?

Electronics

Most electronics contain hazardous or toxic materials which can cause an environmental problem if discarded in the trash. Safely recycling and reusing electronics helps keep substances like lead and mercury from harming people or the environment. To manage your electronics responsibly, take advantage of take-back, reuse, and recycling programs offered by local retailers, efficiency programs, and others. Visit the EPA’s website for a handy list of ways and locations to recycle old computers, electronics, cell phones, and more.

Burned out CFLs

All compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), including ENERGY STAR® qualified bulbs, contain a small amount of mercury. Yet they are safe to use. They do not emit mercury when they are intact, in use, properly stored, handled, and/or installed. Because CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury, the bulbs should be recycled properly and not thrown in the trash. By recycling the bulbs, you are helping prevent the release of mercury into the environment. Plus, almost all components of the bulbs can be reused. To learn more, or to find a place near you where you can drop off CFLs for recycling, check out the EPA’s website.

Focus on Energy has made it easy for you to recycle spent CFLs by partnering with more than 400 retailers across the state to offer free CFL recycling. Simply bring in your expired, unbroken CFLs to a participating retailer near you. Call 800.762.7077 or visit focusonenergy.com to learn more.

Used Batteries

Batteries power all kinds of electronic devices in our homes. But what should you do with them when they burn out? Recycle them. Many batteries contain harmful metals and chemicals that can leak into our air and water supply when they are dumped into the trash. Single-use batteries (like the kind you pick up at the drugstore or the supermarket checkout aisle) are usually alkaline batteries. They do contain some mercury, but the amount has been steadily reduced since 1984. Though they’re not as hazardous as they used to be, single-use batteries should still be recycled and not thrown out, as there are potential hazards that can arise from leaks.

Many rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, contain cadmium, which can be particularly hazardous to the environment and to people should it leak in a landfill or go through an incinerator. To find a place near you where you can drop off your old batteries for recycling, check out the comprehensive national database at the Earth911.org website. Batteries Plus also takes back disposable batteries for recycling at any of its retail stores coast-to-coast.