Reduce, Recharge, Recycle

Measuring with digital multimeter of rechargeable battery

A multi meter is used to test battery life.

Batteries charge our world and power the devices that make our lives convenient. In an effort to reduce the amount of waste we generate, here are some simple tips for household battery use.

Reduce the amount of battery waste you generate.

  • Often, more than one battery is required to power a device. When a device indicates that its power source is low, check each battery separately. When a single dead battery causes lack of power, the remaining batteries may still have a charge. By checking each battery separately, you can extend the life of all your batteries.
  • Use tools like a multimeter to check if your battery is truly dead.
  • Another way to extend the life of batteries is to use an abrasive material to clean the contact surface or spring where the negative and positive ends of the battery connect inside a device. Items such as an emery board or fine sandpaper can help.
  • Consider alternative chargeable devices that can plug directly into an outlet or even a USB port.

Recharge: Purchasing high quality rechargeable battery kits will help save money and stop batteries from piling up in kitchen, bathroom and garage drawers.

Tips for using rechargeables:

  • Each battery type may have different charging times, look at the directions on the package.
  • Before recharging, make sure the battery is cooled down to room temperature to avoid a shortened life span from overheating.
  • While rechargeable batteries can be reused up to 100 times, eventually it becomes hazardous waste, so make sure to recycle it properly. Visit recyclestuff.org for drop-off locations. If you have other hazardous waste to get rid of, make an appointment at smchealth.org/hhw.
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