New York City law requiring battery recycling takes effect

Beginning today, New York City residents are required to recycle their rechargeable batteries. To assist New Yorkers in complying with the law, all stores in the city that sell rechargeable batteries are required to accept the cells when they expire. The spent batteries will be collected and processed by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a non-profit based in Atlanta.

The law allows for a six-month grace period. Once that period ends, however, each battery found in the trash will result in a $50 fine. The RBRC says it expects the new law will divert several hundreds of thousands of pounds of batteries (and the dangerous mercury they contain) from landfills.