AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is urging Maine residents to hang onto their used batteries until safe disposal options can be identified.
Only rechargeable “Ni-Cd” batteries now are recycled on a broad scale in Maine.
“Due to the ice storm and prolonged power outage, there has been an unprecedented use of batteries, many of which contain mercury or other toxic chemicals,” said Ned Sullivan, Maine DEP commissioner. “We are looking into recycling and disposal options that will safeguard public health and the environment. In the meantime, we are urging Maine citizens not to place spent batteries in their household trash.”
Every spent battery that is incinerated and goes up in smoke ends up polluting Maine’s fish, wildlife, and waters. DEP staff are reviewing collection-recycling options.