by Sally Mitani
"I'm a third-generation battery guy," says Neal Anderson, which isn't something you hear every day. He's the manager of the newly opened Interstate All Battery Center in Woodland Plaza. His father, Jeff, owns the franchise rights to Interstate in southeast Michigan. Interstate stores sell their own battery brand, manufactured in Illinois, "everything from truck batteries to watch batteries." The store also sells some related accessories like flashlights and jumper packs, and it's a recycling center for all batteries, including impossibly-hard-to-dispose-of computer batteries.
So what exactly does a third-generation battery guy do? "We do custom rebuilds on old tool batteries," for starters.
And what's up with those lithium ion batteries? Why are they suddenly all over the place? "Lithium ion batteries aren't new, but they're expensive to make, so they haven't put alkalines out of the market." In addition to the cost, there is a downside to these long-lasting batteries: "You have to recycle them," he says firmly.
Surprisingly, for those who remember old proscriptions regarding their disposal, today's "alkaline batteries are fairly green in the sense that they're biodegradable and landfill safe. We do recycle the alkaline batteries--we send them out to different smelters. That way, the metals get reused." But if you have limited patience for recycling, you can toss them in the trash.
Interstate All Battery Center, 2222 S. Main (Woodland Plaza), 222-4055. Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. Closed Sun. interstatebatteries.com
[Originally published in January, 2013.]
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