Suspect was said to go through 50 batteries a day.

Battery disposal is always tricky business. There are so many different kinds and they tend to be made of metal, which would suggest some recycling is in order, but on the other hand, they also tend to be full of all kinds of potentially hazardous chemicals that could make them unsuitable for that or even regular disposal.

It’s always best to consult with your local waste management service to learn the best and safest way to deal with dead batteries. One thing they will certainly not advise is putting them in plastic soft drink bottles and chucking them in canals, and yet that’s what one 23-year-old man in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture decided to do.

At about 4:30 a.m. on 5 July, the suspect was spotted throwing a 1.5-liter (50-ounce) plastic drink bottle filled with AA batteries in an agricultural canal. Police arrested him on suspicion of violating the Waste Management Law. The authorities also suspect he is responsible for 20 other bottles, filled with about 100 batteries each, found in the same canal since May of this year.

▼ A news report showing the discarded bottles and canal

During questioning, the suspect said that he was using a mobile phone charger that ran on AA batteries and was burning through 40 to 50 a day to keep his phone working. He also said that he had trouble disposing of them at home because he wasn’t sure how to do it.

While police figure out what to do with this industrial strength litterbug, readers of the news online were left wondering what this guy was up to that could possibly result in this situation.

“That doesn’t make sense.”
“He’s never near an outlet?”
“I remember going through a whole bunch of AAs with my Game Boy.”
“Is his home prone to blackouts?”
“He didn’t seem to think this through very well.”
“This person seems very reluctant to learn new things.”
“I wonder what game he was playing on his phone.”
“How much money was he going through?”
“Even if he buys batteries for 100 yen, it still horrible cost performance.”

In Japan AA batteries are widely sold in 100-yen shops, sometimes in packs of up to 12 for just 100 yen (US$0.72). However, as you can probably imagine, they usually aren’t the highest quality and tend to die quickly. This might explain why the suspect was going through them so quickly, when he might actually spent less money if he’d bought more expensive ones that last longer.

Besides all that, there are also portable charger rental services widely available all over Japan these days that would be a fraction of the cost this guy was paying, and completely eliminate the chances of resorting to criminal activity.

In the end, I suppose the lesson in all this is to not get too set in your ways and consider potentially better alternatives to whatever it is you do in life. It’s a philosophy that has served our writer Mr. Sato very well over the years.

Source: MBS News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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