With the large number of portable devices we use every day, it is no wonder that we have a lot of batteries to recycle. Using rechargeable ones, such as nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries, cuts down on some of the waste. Unfortunately, even rechargeable ones eventually stop working and need proper disposal. Since nickel cadmium is a known carcinogen for humans, many countries have programs in place to recycle them safely. In most cases these programs are offered free of charge as well.
Consult the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)'s website for the most current information on locations where you can dispose of NiCad batteries properly worldwide.
Follow the web links the OECD provides to find out more about existing recycling facilities in your area as well as their hours of operation.
Phone ahead to make sure that the facility you plan to visit with your batteries will be open at the time you choose to visit. While many people try to keep their websites as up-to-date as possible, sometimes that information is not the most current. Speaking to a person on the phone will always give you the most up-to-date information.
In many places, it is illegal to dispose of batteries through any means other than recycling. In the case of NiCad batteries in particular this is because they have the potential to release toxic metals and chemicals if they are not disposed of properly. Check with your local government for rules concerning your area. They may even have a local recycling program set up where you can drop off your batteries at the same time you are taking care of other local governmental business, such as renewing licenses or paying bills. When recycling nicad batteries, companies that process them can reclaim some of the iron-nickel and cadmium used in their manufacture. These metals are then used in the manufacture of new batteries, steel and other durable household goods. When recycling your nicad batteries, you may also wonder about recycling other types of batteries in your household. Most automotive parts stores will dispose of your automotive batteries if you drop them off. As for other types of batteries (both rechargeable and otherwise), it is best to check with your local government to see what the current preferred method of disposal is. When talking about nicad batteries, it is important to note that all nicad batteries are included in this discussion--not just AAAs, AAs and the like. Check your cell phone, digital camera and other small portable electronic devices to see what types of rechargeable batteries they have. As of February 2010, lithium ion and nickel cadmium are the most widely used rechargeable batteries for these types of devices.