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Archive for March, 2011

Alkaline Batteries – Just Throw them in the Garbage!

March 31st, 2011 27 comments

We used to think it was a shame to let any recyclable household item go into the waste bin, so we were surprised to learn that it’s not necessary to recycle alkaline batteries.

Batteries can be categorized as either single-use (primary cell) batteries or rechargeable (secondary cell) batteries. Each type requires special instructions to ensure it’s properly recycled (or discarded). The majority of consumer batteries for household use fall within these types:

  • Alkaline
  • Zinc-carbon
  • Button cell (lithium manganese or silver oxide)
  • Lithium (Li-ion)
  • Nickel-cadmium (NiCd)
  • Nickel metal hydride (NiMH)
  • Lead-based (automotive and non-automotive)

It turns out that some battery manufacturers, like Duracell and Energizer, have eliminated all of the added mercury from its alkaline batteries, so they can now be safely discarded along with normal household waste. The other components of the batteries — steel, zinc and manganese — don’t pose health or environmental risks in the solid waste stream, according to Duracell, and those metals are difficult to recover from batteries.

We learned this by reading a blog written by an environmentally minded person named Will Taft — willtaft.com — who did some research into the proper disposal of alkaline batteries. He even found this comment from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA):

“Alkaline batteries are not recyclable. They’ll just be thrown out in a landfill, or at the most a hazardous waste landfill.”

Rechargeable batteries are a different story, though — they can contain mercury, cadmium, lead, and lithium, and therefore should be recycled. Car batteries and other lead-based batteries should also be recycled.

Alkaline batteries have several advantages: they last for a long time, perform well at high and low temperatures and have a long storage life. They can be stored at room temperature for two years and retain 90 percent of their original capacities.

It’s important to handle them properly, however. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that if potassium hydroxide, which is contained within the cells of alkaline batteries, leaks out, it can cause chemical burns on skin or in your eyes.

And, Duracell warns people never to dispose of alkaline batteries by fire, because they could explode. Duracell also says not to dispose of large amounts of alkaline batteries together. Used batteries are often not completely “dead,” and grouping them can bring these “live” batteries into contact with one another, creating safety risks.

Most sources say that more than 150,000 tons of single-use batteries are tossed into landfills each year. Send your alkaline batteries to ecycler HQ and we’ll take action to properly dispose of the batteries.

Buy rechargeable batteries!

 

 

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,

ecycler Development Team

March 29th, 2011 No comments

A special guest post by our development team at Virtual Communications:

Established in 2005, Virtual Communications is an environmentally conscious IT consulting company. Their services include software and web development, Facebook and mobile apps, call center and BPO services, video conferencing, VoIP solutions, training and technical support for consumers and corporations.

With their goal set on providing a high standard of work, Virtual Communications focuses on world class coding standards and best practices. The skills pool covers all development platforms–they have experience working with Fortune 500 companies and multinationals and enjoy a high customer retention rate.

A recent project presented Virtual Communications with an opportunity to work with a green company. The successful launch of ecycler has helped promote a great service that puts collectors of recyclable materials in contact with those who have them to give away.

We love working with an organization whose goal is to redistribute recyclable materials in order to make good use of it and make sure it is used to the fullest of its ability to reduce waste worldwide.

To make the world a greener place as well as reduce their carbon footprint, Virtual Communications makes a conscious effort in their offices to reduce waste output. For example, the offices are illuminated entirely by energy efficient florescent bulbs, which reduces costs and is environmentally friendly. Backup generators are powered by natural gas which is far more efficient and expels fewer pollutants than gasoline or diesel. They use recycled paper, recycle all waste paper and ink cartridges. And, drinking water is provided in 19 liter (5 gallon) reusable plastic bottles which cuts down on waste from non-reusable sources.

By continuing their green initiatives they hope to make the community around their offices a safer, cleaner place and reflect these ideals across their worldwide client base, subsequently making the world greener. With all of these practices in place they are able to cut down on costs as well as the waste and pollutants associated with any business.

Virtual Communications’ work with ecycler has no doubt inspired and has reinforced the benefits of recycling. They encourage their partners and clients to maintain the environment to the best of their ability.

Check out Virtual Communications for more details!

Categories: friends of ecycler Tags: ,

Vote for ecycler!

March 12th, 2011 2 comments

We’ve entered the Green Giant “The Green Awards” contest.

Come Vote for ecycler!

On the ecycler contest page, click on the “Vote Now!” next to the video… It will most likely ask you to register which takes less than 120 seconds.

The registration process is easy, it will ask for a name, email address, password, birth date, city, ZIP code and where you grocery shop.

This is a spam-free site…

We really appreciate the vote! Please also tell your friends and family.

ELEVATOR PITCH:

At ecycler.com we bring together those who have recyclables to give away with those who want to collect those recyclables. Many US households, institutions and businesses are not offered curb-side recycling; we’re giving them that option.

The collectors—or community entrepreneurs—will redeem the recyclables they collect for cash.

We believe that the easiest way for individuals to make a difference in the improvement of the environment is to recycle, and our goal is to make it even easier by pairing discarders and collectors through our web site.

We currently are trying to reach people who would like to become ecycler discarders; we hope to get businesses apartments and groups of friends to start saving their recyclables for their local collector. Also we are looking for people to become a local ecycler collector and pick up recyclables from the discarders.

Don’t forget: Check out the contest and Vote for ecycler, we really appreciate it: http://voteforecycler.com/

Categories: achievements, ecycler Tags: ,

2011 Free Enterprise Honoree

March 1st, 2011 No comments

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced ecycler as one of 25 Free Enterprise Honorees, recognizing our critical role in job creation and economic growth.

The Awards Program is designed to commend businesses across the nation for their strong business practices and contributions to the economy.

“We are proud to recognize your business’ success story and are impressed with your company’s accomplishments.”

Award criteria were based on staff training and motivation, community involvement, customer service and business strategies & goals.

Congrats to the 75 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners. We’ll see you next year!

Categories: achievements, recycle Tags: