Free 9v Duracell coppertop batteries

#1
I live in a rental property in Australia, and every year some contactor guy comes and replaces my smoke alarm battery. When he gave it to me the voltage read 10.11v (I think).

After shorting it for a few seconds the voltage dropped to 9.6v, and is now hanging around at that voltage after messing with it a bit more. (plugging it into one of those clip on 9v battery LED torch things) - although now it's slowly climbing as I type.

As far as I can tell, that's pretty much a brand new 9v battery.

So if you want all you can eat, slightly used 9v batteries for masses of school projects or whatever, hit up your local rental management company for the name of the contractor they use. Do a search for "smoke detector battery replacement waste of the planet contractor law" (no offence to the contractors, just the law). My guy said they are all dumped, and not used in any way (I presume recycled or at least disposed of in some kind of decent way).

Waste not want not etc...

-Craig/BullwinkleII/120ThingsIn20Years
 

premelec

Senior Member
#2
I have seen in a hospital that AA alkaline batteries on portable patient monitors are often changed to "fresh" ones without regard to old battery status. So much recycle re-use potential... "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"
 

Pongo

Senior Member
#3
I have seen in a hospital that AA alkaline batteries on portable patient monitors are often changed to "fresh" ones without regard to old battery status. So much recycle re-use potential... "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"
When you are awakened at 2 AM because your infusion pump batteries have died, setting off ear splitting alarms, you might wish to be in a hospital with such a policy ;)
 

premelec

Senior Member
#4
Hi Pongo - I'm not against the policy - just what happens to the partially used batteries by the thousands - I don't think they have any program to put the partially spent AAs to any good use... I am opposed to ear splitting alarms anywhere, anytime... ;-0
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#5
I'm definitely in favour of being able to get hold of partially used but useful batteries and would recommend asking.

Ironically, one difficulty these days can be recycling and disposal legislation. With business mandated to recycle or dispose of waste properly they need the paperwork trail to prove they are doing that, and 'handed it over to some dude in the street' or 'gave it to someone who doesn't have the required license for handling waste', potentially leaving them open to prosecution, can make them reluctant to participate, .

Where that situation exists the best way to resolve that would probably be local or national government schemes which authorise and facilitate it.
 

Pongo

Senior Member
#6
Agree 100%. Recycling is a very tricky issue. I recycle all my batteries with the county program, even built in ones that require disassembly to extract from a unit. But I often wonder just how much is actually getting re-used.

They got a crusher and started polystyrene foam (styrofoam) recycling. With the low density of that stuff, even if I could stuff a car full, I would probably burn more hydrocarbon taking it to recycle than could possibly be recovered.
 
#7
My local recycling drop off point for used batteries is my local library, so they might be a good source as well. We have a National "change your smoke alarm battery day" so I'm pretty sure you could just reach into the box at the library and fill a sack full of reasonable batteries as well.

A company called Office Works has a phone recycling bin that has supplyind me with a few phones over the years as well. Many of them only two years old as thats the typical span on a phone plan here. If nothing else there are some pretty good batteries in them. I've even found a few 32gig memory cards. Lucky I'm honest enough to not look at the photos :)

I had a friend who collects old cameras and often buys them from charity stores, and has scored some awesome late 40s, early 1950s Japanese prints as a result of developing the film inside. (Cameras bought for $5 in Japan)

My contractor guy had no problem giving me my battery, but didnt offer me a sack full, so perhaps there is an issue with paperwork, but the local library wouldn't have any records of inputs, as you just drop them in a box.

I understand a 9v battery is made of AAA cells as well so that might be worth exploring as well.

Either way.... just a thought that might be worth exploring especially for educators doing big numbers of school projects. I'm guessing the paperwork would be easy enough to deal with, and worth it if you wanted a few hundred batteries.

-Craig/BullwinkleII/120ThingsIn20Years
 
#8
Agree 100%. Recycling is a very tricky issue. I recycle all my batteries with the county program, even built in ones that require disassembly to extract from a unit. But I often wonder just how much is actually getting re-used.

They got a crusher and started polystyrene foam (styrofoam) recycling. With the low density of that stuff, even if I could stuff a car full, I would probably burn more hydrocarbon taking it to recycle than could possibly be recovered.
I wonder if buying them might be a way around that. ie offer them a dollar for a sackful and sign a receipt.

[edit - Opps that was meant to be a reply to @hippy
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#9
I'm pretty sure you could just reach into the box at the library and fill a sack full of reasonable batteries as well.
The whole area of 'skip diving' can be a legal nightmare, despite what 'common sense' might suggest. It's an entertaining area.

The basic premise is everything belongs to someone, as they'll be the ones held responsible if a thing causes harm, or disposal is considered littering or fly-tipping. So one can't ever just abandon things or disown them.

As taking anything without permission is exactly that, while the owner might not care, under law it will usually be defined as some sort of crime. Perhaps a victimless crime but potentially a crime none the less.

And not so victimless if the original owner hasn't so much abandoned the item but passed ownership on, to whoever owns the recycling collection bins or skip for example. The original owner might not care if you take it, but the current owners might. Their business model might rely in some way on getting recycling quantities or a good amount of reusable recyclables or waste. But even if not; it's now theirs and it's being taken without permission.

But is it theirs ? The whole issue of when ownership passes on is another entertaining area. Can someone who has skipped something later retrieve it, take it back ? Is it still theirs to take back, or is it now someone else's, does taking it back also amount to some sort of theft ? And can they give permission for someone else to take something from a skip once they've put it in a skip, or is that even worse; conspiracy, aiding and abetting theft ?

All good stuff to muse on.

And one final note on legal issues is that, while things can be passed on, it's not always easy to absolve oneself of responsibility in doing so. This is often the basis for recycling centres not allowing things to be taken from those centres. Because they can't guarantee that won't lead to harm they quite reasonably don't want to carry the can if it does.

In general we indulge in recycling regimes and don't interfere with them in any way. When we do, most people don't care, and we all get by on that basis, but in some cases things can become an issue.

I'd probably ask before diving into a recycling box in case it is one of those cases where someone chooses to care.
 
#10
The whole area of 'skip diving' can be a legal nightmare, despite what 'common sense' might suggest. It's an entertaining area.

The basic premise is everything belongs to someone, as they'll be the ones held responsible if a thing causes harm, or disposal is considered littering or fly-tipping. So one can't ever just abandon things or disown them.

As taking anything without permission is exactly that, while the owner might not care, under law it will usually be defined as some sort of crime. Perhaps a victimless crime but potentially a crime none the less.

And not so victimless if the original owner hasn't so much abandoned the item but passed ownership on, to whoever owns the recycling collection bins or skip for example. The original owner might not care if you take it, but the current owners might. Their business model might rely in some way on getting recycling quantities or a good amount of reusable recyclables or waste. But even if not; it's now theirs and it's being taken without permission.

But is it theirs ? The whole issue of when ownership passes on is another entertaining area. Can someone who has skipped something later retrieve it, take it back ? Is it still theirs to take back, or is it now someone else's, does taking it back also amount to some sort of theft ? And can they give permission for someone else to take something from a skip once they've put it in a skip, or is that even worse; conspiracy, aiding and abetting theft ?

All good stuff to muse on.

And one final note on legal issues is that, while things can be passed on, it's not always easy to absolve oneself of responsibility in doing so. This is often the basis for recycling centres not allowing things to be taken from those centres. Because they can't guarantee that won't lead to harm they quite reasonably don't want to carry the can if it does.

In general we indulge in recycling regimes and don't interfere with them in any way. When we do, most people don't care, and we all get by on that basis, but in some cases things can become an issue.

I'd probably ask before diving into a recycling box in case it is one of those cases where someone chooses to care.

I've always asked before retrieving phones form office works, but I'm not sure the person behind the counter has the right to grant me permission.

As for the batteries at the library recycling depot, I'm going to return them anyway, but just with less of the E-Lec-Tricity in them. Less to dispose of me thinks :)

But yeah... ask... You dont want any grief to get shoved onto people like battery recycling depots, or your local library that are doing the right thing by the universe.
 
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