KUALA LUMPUR: If you are a hearing aid user and have accumulated used batteries from the device, there is now a way to discard the batteries in a proper and safe manner.
Hearing aid company Clarisound has started an initiative to let Malaysians dispose of used batteries for their devices safely – by dropping them off at recycling centres at Clarisound outlets.
According to the company's managing director Kieran McCarry, most hearing aids run on a battery of a very specific type, like zinc-air or Nickel Cadmium NiCd/rechargeable.
"As you will be regularly changing your hearing aid batteries, you may be tempted to toss the old batteries into your trash(can).
"(But) zinc air or NiCd batteries found in most hearing aids should never be tossed in with your household trash (as they can harm the environment)," he said.
Batteries can leach toxic chemicals, such as cadmium or lead into the ground, contaminating soil and water.
If groundwater is contaminated, it carries the contaminants with it as it moves. This can cause soil and water pollution and endanger wildlife.
Meanwhile, nickel is toxic in high doses, but the cadmium in rechargeable batteries is one of the most dangerous substances.
According to the World Health Organization, cadmium has toxic effects on the kidneys, the skeletal system and the respiratory system. It is classified as a human carcinogen.
There is another reason to keep batteries out of landfills.
"The metals in batteries, including zinc, nickel, silver and cadmium, can be recovered and reused," says McCarry.
Using recycled metals from batteries also saves energy.
According to the European Union Batteries Directive, using recycled cadmium and nickel requires 46 per cent and 75 per cent less primary energy, respectively, than extracting and refining virgin metals.
For zinc, recycling takes only about a quarter of the energy needed to extract the metal from its ore.
"Clarisound would like to do their part to reduce the environmental impact of hearing aid batteries, by collecting them and sending them to a recycling centre," says McCarry.
"We are the first hearing aid company in Malaysia to launch a (hearing aid battery recycling programme)," he said.
Hearing aid users can now simply drop off their used hearing aid batteries at any the Clarisound outlets listed below:
1. Mid Valley Megamall
S-065, 2nd floor, South Court, Midvalley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03 2282 1882
2. Centre Point Bandar Utama
Lot F17, 1st Floor Centre Point Bandar Utama. Tel: 03 7728 2482
3. Subang Jaya
S9-S10, 2nd Floor Mediplex, SJMC, Tel: 019 388 0502
J-7-1 Block J, Setia Walk Persiaran Wawasan, Pusat Bandar Puchong,
Tel: 03 5882 0096
70B, Tanjong Tokong, Penang. Tel: 04 890 5886
L1-069, Level 1, Vivacity Megamall, Jalan Wan Alwi, Kuching.
Tel: 082 263 900