I had to go to the local supermarket the other day to buy a new battery for the smoke alarm. I know, necessary evil. Unfortunately I've never seen a rechargable in the ginormous size required required for this purpose. I did however recycle the old one for the first time in the carton thats been set up in local library. Apparently 18 million household batteries are thrown away each year in my state alone. When batteries end up in landfill there is a risk of the potentially dangerous elements they contain - such as arsenic, mercury and lead - eventually toxifying the environment. Not good. Luckily Australia's first household battery recycling initiative was recently set up in W.A.. Apparently regular alkaline batteries are composed of about 20% zinc which can be recovered and reused to make things like street lights and automobile parts. Cool, huh?
While I was in the supermarket buying the battery I overheard a father talking to his two young children as they selected a carton of eggs. He was explaining to them why he chose to buy a carton of freerange eggs rather than a carton of battery farmed eggs.
"See, these guys are horrible to the chickens, so we buy these others ones and make 'em go out of business"
"Why don't we just tell them to stop it?" the little boy asked his Dad.
"No, that won't work!" Dad said vehemently, "we gotta make 'em go out of business!".
"Yeah!" agreed the little boy with relish "thats eviller!".
Enough said, don't you think?
See link below for more info on household battery recycling in W.A.