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Reducing the Junk Drawer, Recycling your Batteries



They're hiding on your shelves. In your junk drawer. You're surrounded by them in your home. That's right! We are talking about the various forms of batteries you come into contact with. We use them and toss them like their paper but did you know you can properly recycle them? Recycling batteries may not sound like the most exciting task, but it can make a big difference in the environment.


Different types of batteries require specific recycling processes therefore having specific places they can only be recycled. Here are some general practices and tips:

  • Always check if your local recycling center or electronic store can recycle your battery. Not every place can recycle a car battery AND your rechargeable remote control batteries.

  • For car batteries, sometimes auto parts stores will allow you to drop them off.

  • A battery manufacturer may collect some of your batteries so it's a good practice to check!

  • Keep them stored in a cool and dry area. A hot battery is a dangerous battery.

It may be confusing why certain batteries that function very similarly may require a different center to be recycled and processed. It's because batteries can contain different components and materials that require it's own level of care.


For example:


Lead-Acid Batteries (e.g., car batteries):

When the battery is recycled, it will be disassembled and the lead, plastic, and sulfuric acid will be separated and processed.



 


Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) Batteries:

The batteries will be disassembled at the recycling center, and the nickel and cadmium will be extracted and processed separately.


 


Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Batteries:

The recycling process for Ni-MH batteries typically involves separating and processing the nickel and other materials.


 


Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Batteries:

Li-ion batteries are often shredded when recycled, and valuable metals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel are recovered for reuse.



 


Alkaline Batteries (non-rechargeable):

Recycling typically involves separating the steel casing and zinc components

for reuse or disposal.



 


Zinc-Carbon Batteries (non-rechargeable):

Recycling typically involves extracting zinc and manganese from the batteries.


 

There are many more different types of batteries but we hope this helps you understand a little more about these energizing powerhouses. We advise you to always follow local regulations and guidelines for battery recycling, as they can vary by location. Some regions have specific recycling programs for batteries, while others may include batteries in broader recycling initiatives. Proper disposal and recycling of batteries are essential to minimize environmental impact and conserve valuable resources.


Remember, every little bit helps to conserve valuable resources and keep our planet healthy!

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