There are many different types of batteries out there – some that can be disposed of in household waste like AA and AAA batteries, and some that can’t. Overall, it is best to recycle your batteries.
By disposing of batteries with our normal household waste, we put the environment at risk of further pollution – and completely unnecessarily too. Besides, recycling batteries is made easy for you anyway!
You have a couple of options when it comes to recycling batteries, of any type:
- Battery collection service
- Battery recycling points or recycling centres
If you’re unsure about your options, you can contact your local council to find out more about what works best for you.
The dos and don’ts of battery disposal
- DON’T dispose of large amounts of alkaline batteries in household waste in one go
- DO try and opt for recycling, even if the battery is suitable for household waste
- DON’T dispose of rechargeable batteries like the ones found in cameras, phones, laptops in household waste
- DO find a recycling or collection service, or get in touch with your local council to find out more
- NEVER dispose of batteries in fire – this is incredibly dangerous and could result in explosions
Why you need to dispose of your batteries properly
Whilst you may not think that chucking that battery in the bin will do much, think about how many people have that same attitude. This attitude could have a serious ecological and economical impact.
Batteries are made from both important resources and harmful chemicals – two things that shouldn’t just be sent to a landfill site and go to waste. When batteries are properly disposed of, each battery will be taken apart so certain materials can be recovered and re-used to make new batteries or something else.
In a landfill, the heavy metals and chemicals found in batteries (including lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium and mercury) run the risk of leaking into the ground if the battery’s casing corrodes. This could cause soil and water pollution, as well as potentially endanger wildlife.
It’s good for the environment to recycle, not only because it reduces this risk of pollution but also because it reduces the need to produce more raw materials. By re-using used materials and chemicals, we save on precious energy that we can save or use on other more necessary things.
How your batteries are recycled
When you recycle your batteries, through either a collection service or recycling centre, they will be picked up and sorted. With different types of batteries, there are different chemicals which means they need to be divided and managed in different ways.
However, all batteries will end up with the same outcome: with their useful, original material recovered and re-used to make new products.