How to Dispose of Old Batteries the Right Way?
What do you do with old batteries?
With so many wireless technologies in your home, knowing what to do with dead batteries is essential. This depends largely on what they're used for. For example, you should treat the batteries in your TV remote differently than the rechargeable batteries in your laptop or digital camera since, depending on where you live, they may be both harmful and illegal to dispose of old batteries.
Rechargeable and single-use disposable batteries are the two most common types of batteries in use.
Batteries that are rechargeable can be charged multiple times before needing to be replaced. They're common in cordless phones and smartphones, digital cameras, power tools, and similar consumer devices that drain energy quickly.
Alarm clocks, remote controls, and other consumer electronics use single-use batteries that are meant to last as long as the cell generates electricity.
Can Batteries Be Thrown Out?
Chemicals and metals combine in batteries to produce the reaction that generates electrical energy. While battery recycling is important for environmental reasons, common household alkaline batteries are generally non-hazardous and can be discarded with the regular trash.
Silver and mercury are found in button cell batteries used in items such as remote car starters and watches. They must be recycled. All household batteries are classified as hazardous trash in California where batteries must be taken to an authorized recycling facility or a domestic hazardous waste disposal facility in the state.
How to Dispose of old Rechargeable Batteries?
Any type of rechargeable battery should never be thrown away (or dumpster). Because rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals that might be hazardous to the environment, it is unlawful in some places to do so.
Rechargeable batteries can and should be recycled, and it is available free of cost. Returning batteries and electronics to any retailer that sells them is the most convenient way to dispose them. Consumers can also dispose of their used primary and rechargeable batteries, PUCS, and chargers through the collection network, which comprises drop-off locations at municipal depots, enterprises, institutions, and other locations.
How to Dispose of old Single Use Batteries?
Single-use batteries are now made of common metals and have been certified non-hazardous by the federal government, and can be thrown away in regular trash in all states except California, where all types of batteries are illegal to throw away. Single-use batteries contained mercury and were regarded as hazardous trash before 1996. On the other hand, in a watch, a button cell battery is hazardous and should be disposed of in the same manner as a rechargeable battery.
Where to recycle single-use batteries:
- Contact your local solid waste district to find out, if there is a collection program, battery scrap buyer or an upcoming event in your area.
- Schedule scrap pickup at the Scrapbuk website (scrap battery buyer in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula). You can sell your used batteries to them in exchange for cash and they will send them to recycling units.
Preparing your Batteries for Recycling
Take a few minutes to prepare your old batteries for safe and convenient recycling once you've found a way to recycle them.
Prepping single-use batteries for recycling:
- Cover the ends with a piece of non-conductive transparent tape to prevent current transfer. Instead of taping the ends, you can bag each battery separately.
- If there is a spark, put the batteries in a plastic or cardboard container that doesn't carry electricity.
Prepping rechargeable batteries for recycling:
- Take out the batteries from electrical devices. Dead laptops and their batteries must be recycled separately. Small electronics such as smartphones and iPods do not require this, as most battery recyclers accept them.
- With non-conductive clear tape cover the terminals of the batteries.
Check for any additional shipping safety precautions if you're sending your batteries to a recycling centre.
Batteries, as well as any other waste that could potentially release toxins into the environment, should be handled with caution, particularly when disposed of.
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