If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss, chances are you’ve worked with a hearing health care provider to find the best hearing aid for you and your lifestyle. Whether it’s a hearing device loaded with features like Bluetooth connectivity, tinnitus masker and data log or a more basic model that helps you meet your hearing needs, eventually you will need to consider recycling your hearing aid and hearing aid batteries.
Like most other electronics and batteries, hearing aids are made with components and metals that should never be tossed in the trash. Here’s what you need to know to recycle and dispose of your hearing aid and its batteries responsibly.
Hearing Aid Batteries
Like so many other batteries, hearing aid batteries are made with metals that can be toxic to the environment. The zinc in zinc-air batteries, as well as mercury or mercuric oxide, are common components. When these batteries are thrown away in the regular trash and end up in a landfill, the metals can leach into the ground harming the environment. In some states, such as California, it is prohibited to throw away hearing aid batteries.
When it’s time to dispose of your batteries, there are several options:
- Contact your hearing aid provider. In many cases, providers also offer battery recycling to make the process as easy as possible for customers.
- Reach out to your county offices to ask about recycling programs in your area and how to take advantage of them.
- Call electronics retailers in your area about battery recycling programs they may offer.
Properly maintaining your batteries can also help extend their life and cut down on the need to recycle them. Be sure to store spare batteries in a cool dry place and keep your hearing aids clean and free of moisture that can damage your hearing aid battery.
While hearing aids should be a long-term investment, chosen with expert guidance from a hearing care professional, there may come a time when you will need to replace or upgrade your hearing aid. In these cases, upcycling can help not only you and the environment but also others with hearing loss who may be in need of hearing devices.
As with hearing aid batteries, your hearing health care provider can be a good resource to help you recycle or upcycle your hearing aid. One of the best known and widespread programs, however, is 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.” With millions of people nationwide affected by hearing loss and just a percentage of those currently taking advantage of hearing aids, many for financial reasons, this program serves a great need in many communities. Learn more about the program and how to recycle your hearing aids to help others here. Visit the Lions Clubs International Web site at www.lionsclubs.org to find a center near you.
When you’re ready for a new hearing aid or simply a new battery, follow these tips to dispose of your old ones responsibly. We can help! Contact our office to discuss options.