How to Dispose of Used Batteries in the Most Environmentally Friendly Way

If you really wanted to, you could just dispose of used batteries by throwing them in the garbage. However, that really isn’t the most eco-friendly way to get rid of them.

Batteries, including the single-use alkaline ones, use a whole bunch of different chemicals and materials, such as lead, cadmium, zinc, and lithium. Sometimes, they can even contain mercury.

When you throw a battery away in a standard garbage bin, it’s just going to be sent to a landfill. When this happens, the chemicals from the batteries are going to seep into the ground.

If the batteries end up being incinerated, then there’s a chance that they can cause air pollution. Also, there’s a bunch of useful materials inside of batteries. These materials can even be used to make new batteries and other tools.

By recycling your batteries, you’ll be able to help the environment and make this a more eco-friendly place to live. But what are the best ways to recycle used batteries? Keep on reading and we’ll take you through all of the information that you need to know!

Alkaline

Many local jurisdictions will tell their residents that they should just throw their alkaline batteries in the garbage. In a safety sense, this is totally fine because there shouldn’t be any mercury in alkaline batteries. These batteries typically consist of common metals.

So a regular Duracell battery presents practically no dangers to the environment.

It should be noted that that 100 percent of an alkaline battery is recyclable if you decide to recycle it. That means that every piece of the battery is separated. After it’s separated, you’ll end up with manganese and zinc concentrate, steel, and brass, plastic, and paper fractions.

This is why you have to send your batteries somewhere to get recycled. Only specialized facilities can handle these kinds of materials.

If you happen to have a big collection of alkaline batteries that you’re trying to get rid of, it’s best that you don’t throw them away altogether. Batteries tend to still have some juice left in them. And if you group them together, then they can become dangerous.

Rechargeable

A rechargeable battery, like a lithium-ion or NiMH battery, should always be recycled. These are the types of batteries that you’re going to use in your power tools, computers, cell phones, and digital cameras. Pretty much any device that you have to charge after it’s been drained contains a rechargeable battery.

These batteries are eventually going to die completely. And when that happens, you don’t just want to throw them in the trash.

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to find a place to drop off your rechargeable batteries. And it’s usually free.

Normally, when you drop off a rechargeable battery, you don’t even have to take it out of the electronic device. Whether it’s a piece of medical equipment or a simple cell phone.

Many of the same places that are going to take your rechargeable batteries are also going to take your cell phone and its battery during the same dropoff. It’s a smart idea to first wipe your device completely before you drop it off.

Some electronic vendors even offer trade-in programs for old cell phones. So make sure that you call around to different places to see if you can get anything in return for your old devices.

Rechargeable batteries can be recycled into a variety of different products. These products range from steel to golf clubs, pots and pans, silverware, and even new batteries.

When it comes to NiMH battery recycling, make sure that you find a convenient and reliable recycling service near you.

Car Batteries and Other Lead-Acid Batteries

There’s a good chance that your car battery is a lead-acid battery. And that is definitely something that you don’t want to just sit around. Lead-acid batteries are considered to be hazardous.

The good thing is that many people understand that they’re supposed to recycle them.

In order to get recycled, a car battery will be hammered apart and broken into pieces. Heavy metals and lead inside of the battery will be separated from the plastic parts.

These plastic parts, according to the Battery Council organization, are melted together and shipped to battery manufacturers as pellets. This is so that new battery cases can be produced.

There are two ways for a person to deal with a car battery’s battery acid. First, the battery acid can be neutralized and turned into water. The water can then be treated, cleaned, and tested.

If it meets proper standards, then the water will be released into the public sewer system. If that doesn’t happen, then the acid will be processed and converted into sodium sulfate. That is an odorless white powder that’s used in the manufacturing process for glass and textile manufacturing as well as for laundry detergent.

The Importance of Knowing How to Dispose of Used Batteries the Right Way

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of how to dispose of used batteries the right way. While you can just throw your batteries into the garbage, that’s not the best way to take care of them.

And depending on the kind of battery, it can lead to serious and hazardous consequences.

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