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Why You Should Recycle or Reuse Your Batteries

Batteries can be found in every room in the house. They are used in electrical and electronic items, for example: toys, remote controls, mobile phones, alarm clocks and even doorbells. In fact, every person in Britain uses about 10 batteries a year! 

Batteries eventually run out, and they can be extremely harmful if not disposed of rightly—damaging not only the environment but our own health as well.

Batteries in the landfill

Batteries are powered by chemicals, and no matter what type of battery you’ve got, what’s inside them should stay inside them in order to keep you safe. If you just dispose of a dead battery, it will eventually make its way to a landfill with the rest of your trash. This sounds all fine and well but sitting in the elements can slowly wear away the casing of a battery and allow the dangerous chemicals inside the battery to leak out and drain into the ground, eventually making their way into lakes, streams, rivers, and other parts of the watershed.

A new EU directive decrees that, by 2016, 45% of all batteries sold will have to be collected rather than dumped or burned. At least half of the collected batteries will have to recycle. By 2008, every neighbourhood must have a battery collection scheme.

In the US, more than 95 per cent of lead-acid car batteries are collected for recycling, often by retailers that sell new batteries. Automotive stores and local waste agencies may also accept nonautomotive lead-based batteries for recycling. Call2Recycle has an Internet directory, searchable by ZIP code, for consumers to find recycling locations for dry-cell batteries and cell phones. The program's website also offers recycling strategies for retailers, communities, businesses and public agencies.

Why Lithium Batteries

Due to the significant development in Lithium technology over the last 5 years, the demand for replacing conventional Lead Acid (L/A) batteries with modern Lithium-Ion based technology, is rapidly increasing. Lithium batteries do not contain unhealthy acid substances and environmental banned heavy metals such as lead.

Lithium, a chemical in common household batteries and many other varieties as well, can be harmful if left in landfills, causing fires that release toxins into the air that are harmful. These can cause various problems if people are exposed to them, including birth defects and brain damage.

Batterino a London Based start-up, uses recycled laptop batteries to create custom made battery packs that can be used for a wide range of applications.

“We are teaming up with schools in London area to collect small domestic electric waste, in order to extract and reuse forgotten batteries,” says Batterino Founder Frank Vitetta

Reusing old batteries offers another route to their disposal and productivity. Many domestic electric appliances contain batteries which are ‘spent’ still have up to 70 per cent of their capacity left more than enough for other uses.

Recycling has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis

batteries recycled

Across the UK, local authorities are working hard to provide the best possible service during the COVID-19 crisis. As most of us are now staying at home, this means more household waste which is putting pressure on recycling and waste services. 

With many local Household Waste Recycling Centres closed and staff shortages services like garden waste collections and removal of bulky items like mattresses, white goods or furniture have been impacted.

Useful Resources

Check out these links for resources to help you out with safely recycling batteries!

Want to recycle batteries in the UK?

https://www.recycle-more.co.uk/recycling/batteries

Want to recycle batteries in the USA or elsewhere in North America?

https://www.call2recycle.org/ - Whether you need to recycle your batteries once or on a recurring basis, Call2Recycle® offers battery recycling options for small and large quantities.

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