Laptop Waste

Some people are surprised to learn that wiener, my trusty old Inspiron 7000 laptop, runs on electricity, not coal. Amazing, but true.

Even more amazing, until recently, it was running on its original battery. Over the past six months, I've watched it go from over three hours of battery lifetime down to minutes and eventually nothing. A new replacement battery would cost about $150, which probably is more than the laptop is worth. While browsing through Discount Electronics one afternoon I found the battery I needed, new and still sealed, for fifty bucks. Huzzah, wiener would live!

This created a new problem: what to do with the dead battery. See, laptop batteries contain heavy metals that are highly toxic. You don't want to just toss them in the trash. Dell has been getting a lot of recognition for their new computer recycling program. Indeed, it looks like they have a great program if you are doing something like upgrading to a new computer system and want to discard your old one. It makes less sense if you just want to discard an old part, say a laptop battery.

I did some research on the battery disposal issue. I was pleased to find that the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, a non-profit public service organization, offers a searchable registry of local battery recycling organizations. A search found 80 locations in the Austin area. One location, a Batteries Plus store, was within walking distance of my house.

So I brought the dead battery to the store and told the clerk I had a laptop battery to dispose. He said, "I'll take it."

"Any charge?" I asked.

"Nope," he said.

So, wiener lives on, the waste products of its batteryectomy safely disposed. A shout-out to RBRC and Batteries Plus for their help.


Comments have been closed for this entry.

re: Laptop Waste

Any charge? erk. Was that punintended? ;-)

re: Laptop Waste

Is this the same laptop you used when you wrote me the email about the joy of flying in first class, compiling sendmail @ 37,000 ft, sipping some alcoholic beverage on a laptop with linux installed on it?

re: Laptop Waste

Score one for the environment. Now if we could just get Austin to stop bulldozing/paving everything in sight...

re: Laptop Waste

So... you give the clerk your old battery, walk out of the store safe in the knowledge that it will be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

The clerk watches you leave, and tosses the dead cell in the bin.