My Rechargeable Batteries Lasted 5 Years, Reduced Toxic Trash


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In 2007, I bought a set of rechargeable batteries and a charger from All-Battery. This Tenergy TN145 AA/AAA Charger and 8 AA & 8 AAA batteries set is the exact one that I bought for around $28 or so (it’s $27 right now), and up until now I had not bought a single AA or AAA battery since then. And because I had not bought a single battery until I finally had to buy new ones today, I also have not had to dispose of any toxic, dead batteries either. For nearly five years, my kit of rechargeable batteries has saved me money, eliminated a need to buy new batteries, and kept me from contributing to the over 15 billion batteries tossed in landfills each year. All for a whopping $28. If I were to buy new batteries every time I needed them I would have spent much more than that each year, not just once five years ago.

Everyone uses batteries around the house; remote controls, smoke detectors, wireless keyboards and mice, and alarm clocks all need fresh batteries on a regular basis to perform optimally. Why continue to purchase single-use batteries every month or so when you can buy rechargeable batteries that, if my experience is any proof, can last five years before needing replacing? Sure, $20 or $30 seems like a lot to spend on batteries all at once, but if you don’t have to buy them for years after that, it is a worthy investment. Besides, next time you need batteries you don’t have to buy the charger; you already have one!

Today I bought this set of 16 AA and AAA batteries for just $16.99. That’s about $1.00 per rechargeable battery, about the same price you would pay at the store for single-use batteries. If this set lasts me five years again, that’s an average of just $3.39 per year spent on batteries. Households using the same number of disposable batteries as I use rechargeables are likely to spend much, much more on their batteries than I do.

rechargeable batteries

It’s important to be concerned about our battery use because batteries are full of toxic heavy metals, which when thrown into landfills slowly leach into the soil and groundwater. Those metals include mercury, cadmium, and lead, all of which are dangerous for us to ingest or breathe in. By reducing the amount of new batteries we purchase and throw away each year, we reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in our environment. While it’s true that many people responsibly recycle their used-up batteries, most people don’t, and those batteries end up hanging around underground for years. Whether you use disposables or rechargeables, it is vital to always recycle your batteries when you are done with them. Check Earth 911 for information on recycling in your area.

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    1. I didn’t do anything special with them, really! I just used them normally until they ran out of juice, charged them back up, and put them back in the device I needed them in. I know there are certain things you can do to help rechargeables last longer, but I didn’t do any of them 🙂

  1. just wondering, but I notice that you didn’t include the cost of using electricity to recharge them. How does that factor into the lifetime cost?

    1. Since I only use my charger about once a month for maybe an hour or hour and a half, it’s negligible in comparison to cost and environmental damage.

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