Re: Universal Batteries
Not necessarily true (See clip and reference URL below).
The disposable alkaline batterys don't bother me though because they contain no hazardous materials.
When introduced in the 1960s, alkaline batteries contained a small amount of mercury amalgam to control side reactions at the zinc cathode. Improvements in the purity and consistency of materials have allowed manufacturers to reduce the mercury content in modern cells. Unlike other types of batteries, alkaline batteries are allowed to be disposed of as regular domestic waste in some locations. This, however, may not be environmentally friendly, as some alkaline batteries produced before 1996 contain mercury. For example the state of California has deemed all batteries as hazardous waste when discarded, and has banned the disposal of batteries with other domestic waste. In the US, one company shreds and separates the battery case metals, manganese and zinc. Another company mixes batteries in as a feedstock in steel making furnaces, to make low-grade steel such as rebar; the zinc fumes are recovered separately. In Europe battery disposal is controlled by the WEEE regulations, and as such alkaline batteries must not be thrown in with domestic waste. They should be disposed through local recycling stations/waste dumps. In the EU most stores that sell batteries are required by law to accept old batteries for recycling.On a side note; somehow along the way my previous post on 11/02/10 got credited to idlplumb, just wanted to clear that up so no one was jumping on him for something I said.