July 8, 2011

Recycle Your Hearing Aid and CI Batteries

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From fantasiaamazing

If you use hearing aids or cochlear implants, you deal with constantly changing their batteries. I usually change my hearing aid battery every two to three weeks (I use only one hearing aid). Other people may change their batteries as frequently as once a week. 

Whenever you need to replace dead batteries with new ones, I would hope that you don’t simply toss the old batteries into the trash! These batteries contain toxic materials such as zinc and mercury, bad stuff for the Earth. 

At a time, I just tossed my old hearing aid batteries into the trash without thinking about it. I was lazy and did not care to stop and think about how I can responsibly discard the old batteries. Because they are tiny, it is easy to overlook their impact. Small things add up. Consider how many Americans use hearing aids and cochlear implants (several millions!). Then, add in the rest of the world. It all comes to an overwhelming amount of batteries wasting away in the landfills, leaching their toxic materials into the Earth and its waters. 

It would be best to put the old hearing aid batteries into a container (away from heat, direct sunlight, fire, and flammable materials). When you have collected a bunch of them, you can simply drop them off at a place that will recycle the batteries. The recycling process involves extracting the toxic materials in the batteries making the battery harmless enough to throw into the landfill (Bright Hub – How to Recycle Hearing Aid Batteries, 2010).

Here are some places that will accept old hearing aid and cochlear implant batteries and recycle them: 
  • Hearing aid retailers and dispensers
Or you can go to Earth911.com to find centers near you that accept used hearing aid batteries for recycling.

I try to make it fun by putting my old batteries in interesting containers, such as this cactus shaped one:

(e's hearing aid batteries collection container.
This container motivates me to collect my batteries for recycling. When I am away from my handy cactus container and need to replace a dead battery, I make sure I put the dead battery in a plastic baggie or small container I carry in my purse or bag. 

Recycling hearing aid batteries is super easy and requires little effort. Next time you change your hearing aid or cochlear implant battery, please resist the urge to throw it away and consider recycling.
 
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*Other sites about hearing aid recycling: 

Jamie Berke’s Recycling Hearing Aid Batteries from About.com 

16 comments:

  1. Great article - We do need to be reminded how important to do our part to protect the environment.

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    Replies
    1. Recycling is a good thing. Re saving [storage for recycling] h/aid batts can be potentially dangerous. A spouses co-worker stored [an accumulation] some batteries in a container. The fire martial determined that the house fire started in the container of batteries in the cupboard. 2 or more of the batteries had shorted themselves together and the resulting electrical current flow produced enough heat to start the fire. regards//dr-Bob-ret.

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  2. I will definitely try harder in the future! So often I just throw them out because I have such limited time already with my students! But what a great lesson to teach them as well about helping the earth. I think they would really get into putting them into a fun-shaped bottle.

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  3. Rayovac's Hearing Aid Batteries are now Mercury Free and they perform just as well as standard product. Still a good idea to recycle the batteries at a retailer - however the most harmful elements have been removed. Thanks for posting!

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  4. Thanks for bringing this up! I always recycle regular (AAA and bigger) batteries but it has never occurred to me to recycle my hearing aid batteries, I guess because they are so small. I will definitely start. And I love the idea of keeping them in a neat container. Thank you (e!

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  5. I will definitely try harder in the future! So often I just throw them out because I have such limited time already with my students! But what a great lesson to teach them as well about helping the earth. I always recycle regular (AAA and bigger) batteries but it has never occurred to me to recycle my hearing aid batteries, I guess because they are so small. A hearing aid is a good solution for problems concerning the ear. Assistive hearing devices are devices that carry sound from the environment straight to your ear. Assistive hearing devices do help people with hearing difficulty cope and enjoy life to the fullest.
    hearing aids

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  6. FYI Energizer says to throw them in the trash and specifically says on their website not to accumulate them as it could start a fire. I know our county won't even take them at hazardous waste recycling as they too say to throw them away.

    http://www.energizer.com/products/hearing-aid-batteries/faq/Pages/faq1.aspx

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  7. Thanks, MB. Yes, we should not accumulate large quantities of batteries and leave them in direct sunlight or near heat or flammable substances! Very dangerous. I would hope that most people would have enough common sense to not to do this. I recycle my collection frequently, while storing them in a plastic container in a cool and dry place (away from direct sunlight, heat, and flammable items).

    I have found plenty of places that will recycle batteries of many kinds, including hearing aid batteries.

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  11. Great Article, Keep up the great work

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  12. The batteries and instruments can be recycled, repaired and refurbished to be put back onto the market or sent to help the thousands of people across the world who are hard-of-hearing but who cannot afford to buy a hearing aid. In particularly, the poor are affected as they cannot afford the preventative care to avoid hearing loss, or the devices to improve hearing when impaired.
    hearing aids

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  13. Wonderful post - I was looking for a similar article. Thanks for sharing this article to your reader. You give very nice information about this post

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  14. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying this post and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

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  15. This article is informative because it outlined and give more information about recycling things. The best thing though would be if all people who have been using hearing aid would just recycle batteries or other hearing aid materials.

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Keep it civil.