What happens to all the batteries?

January 29, 2010

More and more and more, we want to be “wireless”. We want to be free of those umbilical cords that tie us to a power source, that provide the energy to their dependent children, the multifarious gadgets of our society. So…we go in for batteries.

Surely, batteries must have been something like a miracle when they were invented…and over time, they have got miniaturized in the most amazing way…a tiny little button can power a watch for over a year now.

But once we are done with all the double and triple A’s and the Various-Chemicals-That-We’ve-Never-Heard-Of-Before batteries…what happens to them?

I remember a time when the batteries, if one was not careful, would leak all over the transistor or torch…and pretty deadly, corrosive stuff it was, too. I cannot believe that battery by-products have become very much more eco-friendly in the intervening years.

So…what are we doing to dispose of our batteries safely, or are they going into the land, doing their deadly work quietly? We have a great record of re-using stuff in India, but an abysmal one when it comes to disposal…of anythng, from dead bodies in the Ganges, to abandoned desktops or rubber tyres…

When I tried to total up the number of batteries we are using in this household, from our phones to our watches to the baby’s toys (almost none of them work with them) to the garage door to the car remote to the cameras to the….. I came up with a staggering total, and when I extrapolate that, it is truly mind-boggling.

We buy batteries by the dozen now, and dispose of them by the dozen, too. But…how DO we dispose of them? What happens to them?

I will start Googling tomorrow to find out…and will share it with you.