Most of us recognize the importance of recycling paper, plastic and glass, but forget about recycling batteries. That less than 5% of batteries get recycled proves the point. That figure should be much, much higher, as recycling batteries is no more difficult that recycling anything else. So, if you are not currently recycling the batteries that you use, the question is – why not?
Some people say that recycling batteries is too difficult or inconvenient, but that is no more than an excuse, and a poor one at that. Lots of supermarkets have recycling points for batteries, and you can also find them in some libraries and schools. All you have to do is take your batteries and drop them in a box. Not hard, right? If you cannot think of anywhere in your local area that recycles batteries than do a quick search on Google for ‘recycle batteries + the name of your town’.
What follows is a list of the most common types of batteries and a brief look at if / how they can be recycled…
Button batteries : These small circular batteries are found in watches and hearing aids. If they are recycled then the mercury-oxide or silver-oxide within them can be reclaimed and used in the production of new batteries. They do not always advertise the fact (though they should do), but jewelers and pharmacies are happy to take these expired batteries from you.
Car batteries : Most modern countries have laws that require car battery sellers to collect old used batteries. The used batteries can be crushed into small pieces, with the plastic components being recycled into new plastic products and the recycled lead being turned back into new batteries or sent elsewhere for other uses.
Household batteries : It is a shame that these batteries, which are the most common type (used in children’s toys, clocks, torches, etc.), cannot really be used for anything else once they have run out, however, that does not mean that you should not take them to a battery recycling point. They need to be properly disposed of to avoid causing damage to the environment, and the only way that can happen is if the chemicals are drained from them before they are disposed of.
Now Try : Battery Disposal