The Power of Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries in a line

From Walkie Talkies to RC cars, rechargeable batteries let you play just as hard as single-use batteries — but without creating as much waste. Let’s break down how they can reduce waste and save you money!

Reducing Waste

A rechargeable battery can be recharged up to a thousand times before it no longer holds a charge and must be disposed of. Different rechargeables vary in capacity and longevity, but even at the low end of performance, you can expect one to act as the equivalent of 100 single-use batteries. At the higher end of performance, one battery might do the work of 500 to 1000 traditional alkaline batteries.

A study by the State of California found that about 4 billion single-use batteries are shipped to the U.S. each year. If Americans switched to rechargeable batteries for most applications, we could keep billions of batteries from needing to be mined, manufactured and recycled each year!

Saving Money

Considering batteries are in everything from clocks to your wireless computer mouse to the TV remote, it won’t take long for your pocketbook to start reaping the benefits. A rechargeable battery can pay for itself in about six recharges — even factoring in the added cost of a wall charger.

According to the New York Times, the average U.S. household uses about 47 batteries a year. By switching to rechargeable batteries, as few as 4 batteries, charged once a month, and you wouldn’t need to buy any additional batteries for years!

Keep in mind that rechargeable batteries are generally not a good idea for emergency items, such as smoke detectors which generally relay on a single-use batteries discharge rate to alert you when it’s time to replace batteries. Consult your owner’s manual to find out what batteries you should use. In addition, rechargeable batteries don’t always hold a charge as long as single-use, alkaline batteries when sitting around unused. So they are also to be avoided for emergency preparedness kits.

No matter what batteries you end up using, remember to dispose of them safely by checking our Recycling Guide for the latest instructions.

Never dispose of batteries in the garbage or recycling where they can start dangerous fires.