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Give new life to old batteries

The next time the battery goes out on your cordless power tool, don’t just replace it; have it rebuilt. It usually costs about half the amount of a new battery, and keeps old batteries out of the waste stream.

At Batteries Plus Bulbs stores in the Northland and Overland Park, employees are trained to rebuild old battery packs as a first option. If they are not repairable, then they are replaced and the old batteries are recycled.

Recently, a local school district needed to replace the original rechargeable batteries in a series of scanners used to track students entering and exiting school buses. But the scanner manufacturer no longer made the battery packs, leaving the school district with the option of replacing all of the scanners at a cost of $350 each, for a total of $17,500. At Batteries Plus Bulbs, the staff researched the battery pack, located replacement batteries and rebuilt the rechargeable battery packs for a cost of $16 each, or $800 total – saving the school district $16,700.

“At the end of the day, we are problem solvers,” says co-owner Scott Neuburger. He and Dan Kopp own two Batteries Plus Bulbs stores in the metro area and are planning to open a third store in Independence.

The retail stores sell and install batteries for every gadget from cell phones and watches to golf carts, boats and motorcycles. With the purchase of each battery, the store will install it onsite for free. The stores also sell light bulbs, with a wide variety of consumer and commercial energy-efficient LED options. Aside from the 45,000 different batteries and light bulbs, the retail locations keep a stockpile of used battery parts on hand for repairs. They also repair most cell phones and tablet devices.

From the Northland location, Neuburger works with business and school districts to help them replace and recycle larger volumes of batteries. He often drops off and picks up buckets for organizations to use in collecting batteries for recycling. He also helps them with LED installations.

There are seven Batteries Plus Bulbs franchise stores in the metro area. The two owned by Neuburger and Kopp are located at 7107 NW Barry Road in Kansas City and 13408 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park. To find a list of batteries and devices that can be repaired, go to

Pictured above: Joey Powers, a sales associate with the Batteries Plus Bulbs, recently replaced the batteries in a Razor scooter at the Northland store.

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