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Mercury and Recycling
         

Batteries

   
The mercury used in alkaline batteries (e.g., AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt) has been reduced significantly since the 1990s. Today, most alkaline batteries contain no added mercury. These batteries are marked "no added mercury" or have a green tree logo. Generally, because of the reduction of mercury, few recycling programs nationwide accept alkaline batteries for recycling. And even though they can be safely disposed of in a landfill, consumers may want to consider replacing alkaline batteries with rechargeable batteries.
         
One type of battery that does contain mercury and is found frequently in households is the button-cell battery. This type of battery is used in watches and hearing aids. Some retail outlets that sell these batteries will accept them for recycling.
         
Another option is to store your button batteries in a safe place until a collection program or event is offered in your community. Some communities offer ongoing collection programs for hazardous household materials while other local programs may hold single-day collection events. For more information, contact your local recycling coordinator or solid waste director. To identify your local recycling program contact, visit www.scdhec.gov/environment/lwm/recycle/counties.htm or call the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling (Office) at 1-800-768-7348.
         
The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a non-profit, public service organization collects and recycles five types of rechargeable batteries: nickel zinc, nickel cadmium, nickel-metal hydride, small sealed lead, and lithium ion batteries. All of these can be recycled at many retail stores, including Target, Ace Hardware, Best Buy, Sears, The Home Depot and Cellular One. There are more than 700 retail locations in South Carolina that accept these types of batteries. Visit www.rbrc.org or call 1-877-2-RECYCLE for a retail location near you.
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