How Can I Recycle Batteries?
While the easiest thing to do is toss old batteries into a garbage can, proper battery disposal methods are vital. Batteries can be recycled safely, but it’s essential to do it correctly for safety reasons. Recycling batteries isn’t easy, especially since each type needs to be disposed of differently.
Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion batteries) are standard in laptops, cell phones, and electric cars. They come in two forms: soft and dry. The increased usage of these batteries in our everyday lives has led to increased fires due to improper disposal of them.
Because they contain hazardous waste, it’s crucial to find a company that can recycle them properly.
There are two main recycling options for these batteries: pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy.
- Pyrometallurgy separates the mixed metal alloy of cobalt, copper, iron, and nickel.
- Hydrometallurgy recovers metals and ores from lithium-ion batteries.
LEAD ACID BATTERIES
Lead acid batteries can be recycled and can contain value. Some materials, like impure lead, can be returned to battery manufacturers and recycled into new batteries. Sulfuric acid can be turned into water. Eighty percent of the materials are turned into new batteries.
Putting these into the garbage would allow the lead and sulfuric acid in them to leach into our soil, water, and other valuable natural resources.
SINGLE-USE ALKALINE BATTERIES (AA, AAA, C, and D)
Christmas morning can be disappointing if you don’t have single-use batteries on hand for your kid’s newest toys. However, these batteries have corrosive chemicals that shouldn’t be dumped into landfills leaking into our soil. AA, AAA, C, and D alkaline batteries are household hazardous waste.
To properly recycle them, they should be placed into a rotary kiln to recover any zinc oxide in them. This can be reused in various plastics and ceramics.
BUTTON CELL BATTERIES
Button cell batteries contain mercury and therefore need to be disposed of properly. From hearing aids to watches and other small electronics, button batteries are pretty standard in our households.
Ingredients like mercury can be found in batteries, which is why it is important to recycle them. When we recycle, we prevent more mercury from being mined.
Securis Can Help!
If your business is unsure how to properly dispose of batteries inside your laptops and other devices, we can help!
If you live in the DC metro area, we host monthly recycling events at our Chantilly, VA warehouse, where you can drop off your old electronics*.
*There may be a fee for proper battery disposal