Where should you take used dry batteries for recycling? The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is launching a recycling campaign during which customers shopping at 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and TSC Million convenience stores or Far Eastern A.Mart superstores will get a discount when they take in used batteries to recycle. Every 0.5kg of used batteries will be rewarded by an NT$11 discount at the checkout. The program will run at more than 10,000 stores across Taiwan from Sept. 8 to 21.
Waste dry batteries contain heavy metals such as iron, manganese and zinc. If disposed of arbitrarily, they will pollute the environment, but if they are properly recycled, they can be reused in industrial processes.
Hsieh Ping-hui, executive secretary of the EPA’s Recycling Fund Management Board (RFMB), says that about 11,000 tonnes of dry batteries are used each year in Taiwan, but only about 4,000 tonnes of them are recycled. This puts the recycling rate at about 40 percent, which still leaves room for improvement.
Photo: Liu Li-jen, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報記者劉力仁
RFMB deputy executive secretary Wei Wen-yi says that many people do not know where to take batteries for recycling. She says that “batteries can be recycled wherever they are bought.” For example, there are recycling services available in convenience stores, supermarkets and superstores. Cleaning squads’ recycling trucks and local communities’ recycling stations also provide regular service in recycling waste dry batteries, as do chain drugstores that sell dry batteries, wireless communication equipment stores, telecommunications equipment stores and photographic equipment stores.
Wei also reminds the public that when batteries can no longer power high-power electric appliances, they are not completely dead or unusable. In fact, they still work at “reduced level” in low-power devices such as alarm clocks and remote controls before their electricity completely runs out.
(Translated by Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
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