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Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Wednesday, April 13, 2005





Car batteries must not
mix with trash

Question: Can you tell people that putting auto batteries out on the curb is not the way to get rid of them? You must take them to an auto supply store and turn them in there. I see them on the curb a lot. It's not the garbage collector's responsibility to pick them up and they will not pick them up.

Answer: You're correct that putting car batteries out with the regular trash is not the way to dispose of them.

State law requires retailers to take your old battery when you purchase a new one. Many also will take them for recycling without a purchase, said Suzanne Jones, the city's recycling coordinator.

But you can also dispose of car batteries at one of the city's "Drop-off Convenience Centers."

"There are small battery sheds at each center for safe storage of the batteries, and we maintain a contract with a battery recycling company to pick up and recycle them," Jones said.

The city does its best to send out special crews to pick up batteries dumped along streets and, as publicized a couple of months ago, alongside Kaiser High School's recycling bin.

An "irresponsible business" was suspected of dumping 10-20 auto batteries at Kaiser every week for a time.

Convenience centers are in Ewa (call 226-2996); Laie (293-8714); Wahiawa (621-3648); Waianae (696-4203); Waimanalo (259-7182); Waipahu (676-8878); Kapaa Transfer Station (262-4248); Kawailoa (Haleiwa (637-5511)); and Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill (668-2985).

There is also a drop-off center at the Keehi Transfer Station, but it accepts only green waste and combustible waste (call 845-1162).

For information on locations, requirements and hours of operation, call each center or check www.opala.org/waste_disposal_at_home/waste_disposal_home.html.

More battery recycling

You can also recycle spent rechargeable batteries (found in power tools, cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders and other portable electronic equipment) and old cell phones at Home Depot and Radio Shack stores on Oahu.

The batteries are shipped to a recycling facility on the mainland, where they are used to make new batteries and other products.

The recycling program is sponsored by the nonprofit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp.

The city worked with the organization to bring the program to Oahu, Jones said.

The nonprofit corporation, which funds the program, is supported by the manufacturers of rechargeable batteries.

In addition to all types of cell-phone batteries, you can recycle these types of rechargeable batteries: nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd); nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH); lithium ion (Li-ion); and small sealed lead acid (Pb).

For more information, check RBRC's Web site -- www.call2recycle.org -- or call the city Recycling Office, 692-5410.


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See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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