If you're wearing battery-powered hearing aids for the first time, recycling batteries will likely be an addition to your routine. Fortunately, learning how to dispose of hearing aid batteries is fairly simple, and drop-off locations are often accessible and convenient. Keep in mind that batteries need to be replaced routinely, and their lifespan will vary. This depends on the size of the battery, the power level of your hearing aids and whether or not you are using wireless Bluetooth features.
Here’s the average lifespan of various hearing aid batteries:
Because you are regularly replacing your hearing aid batteries, you may be tempted to throw the used button cell or zinc-air batteries into the trash. While that may be quick and easy, disposing of old hearing aid batteries in your trash can actually harm the environment.
The zinc-air batteries found in most hearing aids use air as an energy source and come in a variety of different sizes. Be mindful when disposing of these, as well as other hearing aid batteries. Zinc-air batteries contain low levels of mercury, which should never be tossed in with household waste. Once these batteries are incinerated or released into a landfill, the mercury can cause environmental harm, affecting air and water quality.
Bringing old hearing aid batteries to a location where they can be disposed of responsibly is a far better option, and some regions even have rules in place prohibiting improper battery disposal—be sure to check your local policies. Most municipalities have drop-off centers with recycling boxes for used batteries. The batteries will then be processed and the toxic metals removed and sold for re-use in various industries.
Rechargeable hearing aid options are an increasingly popular alternative to devices that require single-use zinc-air hearing aid batteries. Using lithium-ion technology, these hearing aids can be recharged over and over again, making them a reliable and environmentally-friendly option.
Rechargeable hearing aids are a good financial investment as well, eliminating the need to repurchase new batteries on a regular basis. Consider the average yearly costs of the four sizes of single-use batteries: size 10 may cost around $150 for a pair; size 312 around $80; size 13 around $50; and size 675 around $30 per year.
Next time you catch yourself tossing old hearing aid batteries into the trash at home, make a plan to recycle them locally instead. Better yet, talk to an expert about the advantages of rechargeable hearing aids and save yourself the trouble of ever having to buy batteries again.