We all use batteries in our household needs like remote controllers, toys, wall clocks, and many other devices. Batteries of different kinds serve different purposes such as AA, AAA, Cs or Ds, and 9 volts. These batteries are manufactured by different manufacturers like Duracell, Energizer and many more. All these manufacturers no longer pose a threat to the environment. The new batteries are manufactured with very less mercury as compared to the early days. Because of less mercury, these batteries can be simply thrown away in normal trash cans.
While choosing to dispose of any of the batteries, always keep in mind that a chemical is also used in the batteries. Household batteries are also called “Alkaline Battery”.
What to choose disposal or recycling?
If you are concerned about the environment, you must think of recycling batteries. Although nowadays these batteries are the latest in chemical composition, they still have traces of mercury and other toxic materials. Major municipal commissions will take these batteries under the category of household hazardous waste. At Hazardous waste facilities, the batteries are sent to get processed. After processing and recycling, some parts are used in the new batteries; rest is incinerated in the hazardous waste processing unit.
How to recycle batteries?
Battery recycling is a process to reduce the overall number of batteries. Almostall types of batteries can be recycled. Around 90% of lead-acid batteries can be recycled. Batteries like Lithium-ion and Ni-Zn can also be recycled. To complete the recycling process there are few steps to be followed-
- Deactivate or discharge the battery
- Proceed with the disassembly of that battery system
- Few batteries require mechanical processing
- Some will require electrolyte recovery
- Two more processes are “Hydrometallurgical process” and Pyrometallurgical Process”
By following any of the above processes, recycling can be done for different types of batteries. Even though these methods are safe for recycling, there are some dangers associated with lithium-ion batteries. These are electrical dangers, chemical dangers, and burning reactions, etc.
Always recycle your old batteries
All the batteries made before 1977, were asked to buried. Especially the mercury batteries. Many governments in different countries proposed the rules for the same. The older version of mercury batteries was using 10 times more mercury as compared to the newer version.
The batteries which we use in hearing aids, watches and car keys, etc. are called Lithium batteries. These small batteries (button batteries) are very toxic and should not be thrown in the trash. At the same time, car batteries are recyclable and even very valuable. Every auto part store will take them back as some of the parts are really expensive.
If you ever plan to recycle batteries in larger numbers, look for the expert recycling company for the same and follow all their instructions for the battery recycling process. We all can also contribute to environmental safety by reducing the usage of electronic items which are entirely dependent on the batteries.