Monday, February 20, 2012

Battery Recycling

Do you know what else contains mercury and/or other toxic metals besides fluorescent lamps? Batteries. All types of batteries, including lead-acid batteries, silver oxide batteries or alkaline batteries contain hazardous metals, which if mixed with the household wastes, can endanger the environment as well as our health. The good news is most of these batteries can be recycled. It only takes a small effort to do that – simply by collecting them in a box or container and drop them off in the battery recycling collection center. It’s too easy that it gives us no reason for not participating in battery recycling.

battery overload
Image by Evelyn Giggles
Lead-acid batteries, including car batteries and UPS batteries, contain toxic elemental lead that needs to be kept away from any water source. Fortunately lead-acid battery recycling has been done for a while now. In fact, about 90 percent of lead-acid batteries in the United States are recycled.

Silver oxide batteries contain mercury in small amount. However, no matter how small it is, it’s essential to recycle these batteries so that the mercury inside can be retreated and recovered.

Rechargeable batteries contain lead and cadmium and other materials that need to stay away from the landfill. However, although these substances are dangerous when they come in contact with human consumption, they’re quite valuable and can be reused in the next production. Therefore, these rechargeables must be recycled at the end of their lives.

How do we recycle batteries?

For North America regions, including the United States and Canada, Call2Recycle is the only free battery recycling company that you can contact. The company provides free collection kits and free shipping for the dead batteries you collect. Or you can simply drop off the batteries to one of their collection sites. Then they will recover the dead batteries from you and turn them into new useful things such as new batteries and stainless steel merchandises.

So how do you treat your dead batteries? If your answer is to throw it away along with the other wastes, you’ll need to change the habit now that you have read this article. Save the environment, save the children and save yourselves from the negative effects that improperly disposed batteries can cause by joining this battery recycling program. It doesn’t cost a thing and everyone can do it. Let’s do that!

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