So, you recycle your paper and plastics, upcycle boxes and food jars into storage solutions, avoid food waste, and use reusable bags for shopping. If you have hearing aids, you may also be wondering how to do something similar with those and your hearing aid batteries.
Hearing aids, our hearing and hearing needs are always evolving. Occasionally, we may need to upgrade devices to continue hearing at the highest level and prevent further hearing loss. This may mean bigger or smaller hearing aids, new features such as Bluetooth connectivity, tinnitus masker and data log or a replacement hearing aid for one that has stopped working altogether. And, whatever device you choose, even if you’re lucky enough never to have to replace it, chances are, you will still need to recycle the batteries. Whatever your situation, there are ways to deal with those hearing aids and hearing aid batteries responsibly.
Hearing Aid Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, like other batteries, are made with metals that can be toxic to the environment. The zinc in zinc-air batteries plus mercury or mercuric oxide, are often key components. When they are thrown in the trash, which is usually prohibited, and end up in a landfill, those toxic metals can leach into the ground posing a threat to the environment.
Instead of tossing them out with the trash:
- Contact your hearing healthcare provider to see if they provide battery recycling
- Contact your county offices to ask about recycling programs in your area.
- Contact electronics retailers near you to ask if they offer battery recycling programs.
You may also want to consider switching over to rechargeable hearing aid batteries. These options are more common, affordable and powerful than ever and could help you reduce the number of batteries you use plus save you some time on hearing aid battery recycling.
If it’s time for you to switch out your hearing aids for a new pair, consider recycling or donating your old pair to help the environment and others with hearing loss who may be in need.
- Discuss recycling or donation programs with your hearing healthcare provider. They may offer options.
- Donate to the Hearing Aid Recycling Program through Lions Clubs International. According to the organization, “the Hearing Aid Recycling Program (HARP) enables Lions to provide affordable, refurbished hearing aids for individuals with limited financial resources.”
- Donate your hearing aids to one of several hearing aid industry programs. Starkey Hearing Foundation, Miracle Ear and more have programs that keep hearing aids out of landfills and get them to the people with hearing loss who need them most.
- The Hearing Loss Association can often direct you to local programs for recycling and donating hearing aids.
When the time comes for a new hearing aid or if you’re new to hearing aids and looking for ways to recycle hearing aid batteries, there are many options to consider.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about recycling your hearing aids or hearing aid batteries. Contact our office.