Recycle all computer diskettes, CD discs, videos and batteries, and shift to using less hazardous, rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries.
Personal computer users throw away four million computer disks each day, or over one billion disks per year. And four billion consumer batteries are purchased annually in the U.S., averaging 15 per person. As in the office, avoid throwing out used computer floppy diskettes, unwanted CD discs, and dead batteries by taking them to a local recycling facility.
Nearly 300 million pounds (~146,000 tons) of consumer batteries are disposed of each year. These accounted for less than 0.1 percent of municipal solid waste in the early 1990s, but are of great concern because they contribute a disproportionate percentage of certain toxic heavy metals, primarily mercury and cadmium, to the waste stream.
By 1995, nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad) rechargeable batteries were estimated to represent approximately 75 percent of the cadmium found in municipal solid waste. If you currently use either depletable batteries (e.g., alkaline) or Ni-Cad rechargeables, continue using them until they are dead, then recycle them, and switch to a new, superior performing and non-hazardous, rechargeable battery option: Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries.
Even prior to recycling, you can minimize the need for replacement batteries by:
- Shifting from depletable or non-rechargeable batteries to rechargeable ones
- Properly recharging your batteries to extend their useful life and prevent premature mortality.
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