How Well Do You Know Your Rechargeable Battery? Try These Tips For Better Use

GAINESVILLE, July 21, 1999 – Missing an important call because your cellphone wasn’t properly charged is a common problem in an increasingly wireless world. Rechargeable batteries hold the key to our reliance on convenient, portable products, yet few people understand the basics rules of recharging rechargeable batteries. Even fewer know that when certain rechargeable batteries can no longer hold a charge, they can and should be recycled.

Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries are the most common type of portable rechargeable battery, and they’re used to power products such as cellular and cordless phones, camcorders, power tools and many other consumer electronic devices. By the year 2000, it is estimated that more than 75 million Ni-Cd batteries will be sold in the U.S. alone.

“Most people don’t know that the used Ni-Cd batteries that collect in their desk drawer or those left in products because they no longer hold a charge, can and should be recycled,” said Ralph Millard, Executive Vice President of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), an international, not-for-profit organization that runs the “Charge Up to Recycle!” program for Ni-Cd battery recycling.

To get the most out of your rechargeable batteries and battery-powered products, RBRC recommends the following guidelines:

  • Charge your new battery overnight (14-16 hours) before using it for the first time. This is called “initializing” and will enable you to obtain maximum battery capacity.
  • Let your battery cool to room temperature before recharging. The charge efficiency of most batteries is greatly reduced at elevated temperatures.
  • Recharge batteries only when they are near to fully discharged. You can tell that a battery is discharged by a sharp drop in power or speed.
  • Keep the contact of rechargeable batteries clean – wipe them with a cloth soaked in alcohol.
  • Never return a fully-charged battery to the charger for an extra boost. This will overcharge the cells and shorten the life of the battery.
  • Never leave your cellular phone, camcorder, etc., in the charger when not charging, unless approved by the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t use your charger as a stand! Continuous charging will shorten battery life.
  • If your rechargeable Ni-Cd battery will no longer hold a charge, don’t throw it away! Call 1-800-8-BATTERY or visit to find the nearest retail site or recycling center among the 26,000 participating across the country. National retailers participating include ACE Hardware, Ameritech, Batteries Plus, BellSouth Cellular, BLACK&DECKER, Car Phone Store, Cellular One, Circuit City, GTE Wireless, RadioShack, Porter Cable Factory Service Centers, Sears, Target and WAL-MART.


About Call2Recycle®
Call2Recycle is the industry’s first and only product
stewardship program for rechargeable batteries. The nonprofit program
is administered by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation
(RBRC), a public service organization dedicated to rechargeable battery
recycling. There are more than 30,000 Call2Recycle drop-off locations
throughout the U.S. and Canada. More than 175 manufacturers
and marketers of portable rechargeable batteries and products show
their commitment to conserve natural resources and prevent rechargeable
batteries from entering the solid waste stream by funding the
Call2Recycle program. In pursuit of its mission, Call2Recycle also
collects old cellphones, which are either recycled or refurbished and
resold when possible with a portion of the proceeds benefiting select
charities. For more information, call 877-2-RECYCLE or visit

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