The problem of used battery disposal has gotten a little better thanks to more recycling programs (and awareness), but it’s still very much a problem, as tons of AA and AAA batteries end up in landfills yearly. The long-term hope might be that eventually, we won’t need alkaline batteries anymore (we sure seem to be headed that way), but for the time being, a better solution to battery waste would be nice. Enter Bettery.
Bettery kiosks are up now in a few Whole Foods locations and at Portland State University, but hopefully this is something we’ll see roll out to supermarkets and drugstores across the nation soon. You can buy AA and AAA batteries from Bettery kiosks in packs of four, for about the same price as your standard pack of alkaline batteries. The better part comes in when those batteries run out of juice – you can put them back in the reusable pack and return them to a kiosk in exchange for a new, recharged set at a discount (about $2.50 for a pack of four). Then, you can just keep repeating the process – once you’ve bought however many batteries you need, you should never have to pay full price again.
Bettery batteries are said to last up to 500 recharges, and with the exchange program they have set up, it seems like this is an idea that could cut down on waste significantly if implemented on a wide scale. And, on the subject of cutting down on waste, it’s also possible to safely recycle any non-Bettery alkaline batteries at those kiosks, too. Here’s hoping the Portland-based company can start expanding soon – the plague of dead batteries filling up landfills and/or your junk drawer is no fun for anyone.