How to Dispose of Batteries: The Only Guide You Need
Most people have a dead battery or two in their junk drawers and they probably don’t know how to dispose of batteries. Batteries are an important and reliable daily source of portable power. However, once they come to the end of their useful lives, they can be hazardous to human health and the environment.
There are several types of batteries including alkaline batteries, lithium ion batteries, button batteries, rechargeable sealed lead-acid or nickel-cadmium batteries and lead-acid vehicle batteries. The method of disposal of batteries at the end of the useful life depends on the type of battery.
It is important to understand the disposal classification of the various types before we look into how to dispose of batteries. Dispose of your spent batteries properly by bringing all dead batteries to a household hazardous waste collection site or approved recycling center for battery disposal.
The All Green Recycling center is committed to be an all green company. The company helps clients recycle or reuse their end-of-life electronics and other assets with a n o landfill policy while protecting our environment.
Avoid casually discarding batteries in normal trash pick-up cycles as this can have harmful effects on the environment including filling up landfills and leaching into the soil and water table.
Alkaline batteries are used in remote controls, flashlights, smoke alarms and toys. Keep your dead batteries in a dry place that’s out of reach of children as you save up enough old batteries to dispose of to a recycling center. Despite there being no risks in disposing them with your normal household waste, in some states it is illegal to dispose of them in the trash. Instead, they are dispatched with household hazardous waste collection for special recycling. Alkaline batteries can be recycled through battery retailers and many stores have a return-to vendor box for batteries. Also, your community likely has a location to ease drop off.
Lithium batteries are used in small appliances. They are branded non-hazardous and can be disposed of at a battery recycling center. It is advisable to contact your waste facility to inquire if they are permitted or can handle lithium ion batteries. Many stores offer free recycling of rechargeable batteries for home disposal. It is safe to dispose of these batteries in your regular trash if no outlet is available in your area.
Button batteries are used in watches and hearing aids and contain lithium, silver oxide and mercuric oxide. These are hazardous material which must be taken to a household hazardous waste collection site for appropriate handling.
Nickel-cadmium or lead-acid batteries are considered hazardous and must be taken to either a recycling center or a hazardous waste site for safe handling.
How to dispose of batteries with lead-acid? Car batteries contain sulfuric acid which is a very corrosive material. They can be disposed of to the metal recyclers for scrap or to vehicle battery retailers when purchasing a new one.
How to Dispose of Batteries, The Eco-Friendly Way
It is advisable to use eco-friendly batteries that have lower levels of heavy metals to reduce the environmental impact of hazardous wastes on landfills. Alkaline battery manufacturers have reduced the level of mercury in their products therefore they are less hazardous. Make use of zinc-air batteries instead of mercuric-oxide types which contain greater concentration of heavy metals.
Also, utilize rechargeable batteries when possible to help reduce use of single-use batteries which negatively impact the environment.
Solar powered devices are a safe alternative source of portable power.