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Battery Recycling Sticker Shock?

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – Illinois residents can no longer put electronics in the dump.  But what about the batteries they use to power those devices?  Some people may get a jolt when they find out what it costs if they choose to recycle, instead of sending those batteries to the landfill.

Waste Management has offered battery recycling kits for the past several years.  A KMOX listener contacted us after ordering one, questioning whether it’s worth it.  The box you use to mail the batteries back is roughly the size of two paperback books.  It costs $16.95, and holds about four pounds of batteries.

Waste Management’s Mark Stennes says it’s not a money maker for the company, “There’s a cost involved for the recycling, a cost involved for the package, and the biggest cost for a mail back program like this is generally the postage.”

Stennes adds, the post office required special packaging.   “The post office wouldn’t allow you to put your batteries in any old box and send them to us.”  He points out that packaging is 100 percent recycled material and 100 percent recyclable.

Stennes tells KMOX the program was launched by customer request.  He says cost doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker, “We find that when we send kits out, the battery kits frequently come back pretty quick which would imply that people have been stockpiling their batteries wondering what to do with them.”

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