How to Dispose of Hearing Aids

How to Dispose of Hearing Aids

Peter Lucier, HIS

Hearing aids serve as lifelines for individuals with hearing loss, allowing them to participate fully in conversations, enjoy music, and engage with the world around them. As technology advances and hearing aids become more sophisticated, there inevitably comes a time when older devices need to be replaced. Proper disposal of these devices is crucial not only for environmental responsibility but also for potentially helping others in need. In this guide, we’ll delve into the importance of responsibly discarding hearing aids and explore various methods for doing so.

Assessing the Condition

Before disposing of your hearing aids, it’s essential to assess their condition. Determine whether they are still functional and if they can be refurbished or repurposed. If your hearing aids are in good working order but you’ve upgraded to newer models, consider donating them to individuals or organizations in need. Many people around the world lack access to hearing healthcare services, and your donation could significantly impact someone’s quality of life.

Recycling Programs

Numerous manufacturers and hearing healthcare providers offer recycling programs for old hearing aids. These programs allow you to return your outdated devices to be recycled or refurbished. By participating in these programs, you’re not only diverting electronic waste from landfills but also contributing to the conservation of valuable resources. Contact your hearing aid provider or manufacturer to inquire about their recycling options and how to participate in their program.


Donating your old hearing aids is another meaningful way to give back to the community and support those in need. Many organizations and charities accept donations of hearing aids, including Lions Clubs International, Hearing Charities of America, and local providers or hearing healthcare centers. Donated hearing aids can be refurbished and provided to individuals who cannot afford them, helping to bridge the gap in access to hearing healthcare services.

Proper Disposal

In instances where hearing aids are no longer functional and cannot be recycled or donated, it’s crucial to dispose of them properly to minimize their environmental impact. Electronic waste, including hearing aids, contains hazardous materials that can pose risks to human health and the environment if not disposed of correctly. Many electronic waste recycling centers accept hearing aids and other small electronic devices for proper disposal. Additionally, some local government agencies may have specific guidelines for disposing of electronic waste, so be sure to check with your municipality for more information.

Removing Batteries

Before disposing of your hearing aids, always remember to remove the batteries. Hearing aid batteries contain hazardous materials, including mercury and cadmium, which can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of correctly. Many hearing aid batteries are zinc-air batteries, which should be removed and recycled separately from the hearing aids. Check with your local recycling center or battery recycling program for instructions on how to safely dispose of hearing aid batteries.

Schedule Regular Hearing Health Exams

In addition to proper disposal of old hearing aids, scheduling regular hearing health exams with a qualified provider is essential for maintaining optimal hearing health. During these exams, your provider can assess your current hearing aids, make any necessary adjustments, and monitor your overall hearing health. Regular exams can help detect any changes in your hearing and ensure that your devices are functioning correctly, maximizing their effectiveness and longevity.

Proper disposal of hearing aids is essential for environmental responsibility and potentially helping others in need. Whether through recycling, donation, or proper disposal, taking the time to dispose of old hearing aids responsibly can make a positive impact on both the environment and the lives of others.