Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Where to dispose of CFLs, cell phones and batteries properly - a follow-up

As a follow-up to a comment posted on my previous blog topic, Heating through light : Another reason for using CFLs in your home, I decided to take a few minutes this morning and do a quick search on where we can dispose of certain products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), cell phones and batteries.

CFLs :

For all of us in Canada and the US, Home Depot is one of the easiest ways to dispose of CFLs. If you are like me, there are at least 3 Home Depots within a 10 mile radius from your house so drop off is easy. You can grab a disposal bag and bring it home with you, store your used bulbs and take them back. Another big name store to take back CFLs is IKEA. They were actually ne of the first company to offer a take-back program.

Rechargeable batteries and cell phones :

One of the greatest sites I found while surfing the net this morning was the RBRC - Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation that has a wonderful search engine where you put in your postal code or ZIP and they will give you a list of businesses and drop off points with the distance from your house and directions through Yahoo maps.

One place that seemed to come back a lot in the United States is Radio Shack. Again, very widely spread, they are an easy drop off points in most towns and cities. Staples is another common store in most every area that will take back your used products.

In Canada, Canadian Tire stores take back rechargeable batteries nation wide and some take back old cellies. Our equivalent to Radio Shack, The Source, supports the same programs as in the US. I’ve also gotten hits on various other home hardware stores and Sears here in Canada.

Do check out the RBRC site! It is worth having a good list of drop points to not dispose of them in the trash.

Car batteries :

I know that here in Canada, Canadian Tire recycles them. Your best bet is to call your local car parts place and ask them if they recycle. Many of them will and it will prevent them from ending up in landfills.

Regular one-time-use batteries :

As much as I would like to believe that people have stopped using these, the average person still buys dollar store discount batteries and most of these end up in the trash! They cannot be recycled unfortunately, but here in Canada, Future Shop/Best Buys have drop boxes and takes them in for proper disposal. I would think that Best Buy in the states would do the same, but I wasn’t able to find a reliable source. They do take in rechargeable ones, but that is as far as I was able to find.

In most cities, if you call the sanitation department, you may be able to find out where to take your non-rechargeable batteries. But the best advice from me would be :


On a final note, I did find a company in the United States called Battery Solutions that sells iRecycle kits in various sizes. They come with the safety containers for storage and pre-paid postage for sending your batteries and other things for disposal. They accept :

  • Household batteries, both rechargeable and non-rechargeable, such as D-cell, C-cell, AA, AAA, 9-volt, and button cells
  • Rechargeable battery packs from: Cell phones, cameras, laptop computers, power tools, etc.
  • Handheld electronics: Cell phones, iPods, PDAs, pagers, etc.
  • Any other dry-cell batteries.
So I hope that this provided a good follow-up to my previous post that suggested using CFLs in your home to keep cooler this summer.

How easily can you reach a recycling or disposal drop-off point in your area?


earthtoholly said...

Hi Yanic. Great info here. I think a lot of us think of plastic, paper and glass when we recycle, but not these items that can do so much damage if not disposed of properly. Thanks!