Alright, it’s time to get rid of some hearing aids. Maybe you’re upgrading to a new set, or maybe you have a friend or family member who is no longer using theirs. But don’t throw them in the garbage just yet! There are great options for recycling and upcycling hearing aids you no longer need.
Many nonprofit organizations across the country offer hearing aid recycling programs. These programs are designed to provide hearing aids to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. The hearing aids you donate will be refurbished and then redistributed or resold.
Some of these programs even redistribute the hearing aids in international hearing missions, giving people around the world the gift of hearing again. With these hearing aid recycling programs, people who normally would have no access to hearing aids are able to acquire a hearing device.
If you are ready to donate a hearing aid, consider the Starkey Hearing Foundation “Hear Now” program, the Lions Club Hearing Aid Recycling Program, the Miracle-Ear Foundation, or the Hearing Charities of America. These programs function throughout the United States. If you are more interested in donating locally, you can contact your local or state chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America; they will be able to direct you to local or state agencies or donation programs. Hearing aid parts and other assistive listening devices can be donated as well.
Hearing Aid Batteries
Whether you’re done with an old hearing aid altogether or it’s just time for new batteries, you need to know what to do with hearing aid batteries. After all, even the biggest hearing aid batteries (size 675) typically run for only 14-17 days. Here’s what to do with the spent batteries.
While it may seem simple and convenient to toss those old batteries in the trash, it isn’t the best option. In fact, those batteries can potentially harm the environment. Zinc batteries, which are the most common type of battery used in hearing aids, should never be disposed of with regular household waste. Zinc-air batteries contain zinc, which should not be included with the normal garbage. Zinc batteries should also not be thrown onto a fire since they contain chemicals that can be toxic if inhaled.
The best option for getting rid of hearing aid batteries is to recycle them. Many cities and counties have recycling drop-off centers for used batteries. During processing, the toxic metals are removed from the batteries and then sold for re-use. Some hearing aid manufacturers even offer battery recycling programs; ask your audiologist if you would like more information about this option.
If it’s time to get new hearing aid batteries, you may also want to consider a rechargeable option. Many rechargeable batteries are now available that allow you to use and recharge them multiple times before they need to replaced. This can be an economical option for many hearing aid users.
For more information about how to recycle a hearing aid, other hearing devices, or hearing aid batteries, we welcome you to contact our audiologist practice today. We are happy to answer your questions and help you find the information you need.