Batteries contain several different toxic materials. Lead and mercury are the most notable hazardous materials found in household batteries. They also contain cadmium, another highly toxic metal similar to lead and mercury. Alkaline batteries have toxic chemicals and acids that react to produce their power. Even though the battery no longer produces substantial power to run your electronic device, the toxic materials are still present and can be as potent as the day the battery was purchased. When you throw out one of these "dead" batteries, you are giving these toxic materials a way into the ground and as a result, a way into our water supplies, including drinking water.
Even though batteries represent less than one percent, by weight, of municipal solid waste, they account for fifty-two percent of all cadmium and eighty-eight percent of all the mercury found in the municipal solid waste stream.
What should I do with my old batteries?
What difference does it make if I don't recycle my batteries?
It makes a big difference. We as Americans, use roughly two billion "disposable" batteries each year. Since the Lake Michigan Districts Battery Program began in 1996 they have collected over 40,000 pounds of household batteries.
Does it cost anything to use this program?
NO. The program is free to all residents of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. There are two different ways to use the program; you can either choose one of the drop-off sites or the batteries may be brought to one of the Lake Michigan Districts Household Hazardous Waste Collections (1-800-946-4449 or 219-326-1425).
Please feel free to bring your household-type batteries to Indiana University Northwest and place them in the appropriate container for recycling. At this time, only household-type (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V, button-type (calculator, hearing aid, watch, etc.)) can be accepted. The battery containers have been placed in the following locations:
- Hawthorn Hall - near the recycling bins at the northwest entrance/exit on first floor
- Library/Conference Center - in the vending/lounge area in the lobby
- Marram Hall - near the recycling bins in the vending/lounge area on first floor
- Savannah Center - across from the bookstore, near the bottom of the north stairs
- Dunes - in the student lounge area (room 1190)
IUN COLLECTION RESULTS (November 22, 2011 - December 9, 2014)
Types of batteries collected: AAA, AA, C, D, 9V and other
November 22, 2011 - April 13, 2012: 130 pounds collected
April 13, 2012 - January 22, 2013: 260 pounds collected
January 22, 2013 - October 25, 2013: 325 pounds collected
October 25, 2013 - December 9, 2014: 280 pounds collected