Chemicals seeping into groundwater primarily affect pollution levels. Throwing batteries away in the trash is not responsible. If batteries and other electronics are not recycled, they end up in landfills and begin to decay.
The casing begins to erode. Eventually, batteries start to leak.
The battery casings wither away. Chemicals leach into the soil and make their way into groundwater. We can even find pollutants in our drinking water.
Batteries contain many dangerous chemicals. Lithium, nickel, and even mercury, to name a few.
Batteries and their stored energy remain necessary in some instances. Batteries are required to power some medical equipment, like pacemakers. If you want to shrink your ecological footprint, you’ll want to recycle batteries.
How can we dispose of our batteries as responsible consumers? What steps do we need to take? If you consume a large number of batteries, this will mean a bulk recycling program.
Many batteries contain lithium and other toxic chemicals. Substances in lithium batteries can become combustible when exposed to groundwater. Lithium has caused landfill fires that are so fierce they can even burn underground.
This type of fire and its smoke and ash can be a hotbed for toxic chemical inhalation. Upon the fire’s ignition, the chemicals begin to disperse into the air. It is increasing the potential for human exposure as it mixes with oxygen.
Nickel is a rather famous human carcinogen—these substances cause cancer—the toxicity of lead; common knowledge for decades.
Lead can even cause neurological impairment.
Mercury can cause congenital disabilities. Mercury is highly toxic. The government banned the use of mercury in batteries in the late nineties.
The list goes on and on.
These batteries can still be in use and live in discarded electronic equipment. Check what you are throwing away. Check the battery compartment; beware of leaking acid.
What Is Universal Waste?
A “universal waste” is a classification determined by the Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA) These are items that contain highly hazardous materials but are commonly known.
Classifying things as “universal waste” is to alert us of potential toxicity. This terminology labels ordinary objects as toxic based on their chemical compounds. Many household electronics and other items have been marked as universal wastes.
These are hazardous wastes that are widely produced by households and businesses. Universal wastes include televisions, computers, and lithium-ion batteries. Older items may contain mercury, such as older thermometers or stained glass.
Batteries fall into this category because of their electrolyte- the substances used to regulate electronic current inside battery cells. Electrolyte contains salts, acids, and other compounds.
It may not sound dangerous, but it is not something you’d want to drink or let alone inhale.
How To Recycle Batteries
First, separate your chemicals. Rechargeable batteries contain dangerous heavy metals and should always be recycled. If you are a consumer or a business that uses many batteries, bulk recycling will be your best option.
Bulk recycling programs provide a pick-up service. Be sure to check the types of chemicals the facility you plan on using for recycling accepts. You want to be sure they can recycle what you need to throw away.
Automotive batteries need a different type of disposal than alkaline batteries. Various chemical compounds in varying types of batteries can be sensitive. They are unsafe in particular environmental conditions.
When you use a bulk battery recycling service, you take out all the guesswork. It is still a good idea to separate your types of batteries by chemical make-up. Sorting your trash makes recycling different hazardous substances safer for everyone.
Before replacing, rechargeable batteries can be repowered thousands of times. Once they no longer keep charged, they need replacing. Many devices have rechargeable batteries, including your smartphone.
Recycle your rechargeable batteries. Make sure you look for the recycling seal on all your rechargeable batteries. If this seal is not there, they likely won’t reuse your type of battery.
A large majority of acid-lead batteries are recycled. Companies reclaiming your discarded batteries resue their raw materials. Raw materials from crushed batteries are melted, and their metal is repurposed.
Lead-based batteries (non-automotive ) go through the same recycling procedures as other types. It is common for reclamation companies to process all kinds of batteries. Automotive or otherwise.
Reduce Reuse Recycle
Recycling your batteries is the responsible thing to do. It ensures that toxic chemicals don’t end up causing significant ecological damage. This process keeps substances like lead far from human consumption.
Material from rechargeable batteries is reused for different purposes. The majority of the material from rechargeable batteries goes into making new metallic items. The plastic is recycled and used to fabricate new battery cases and parts.
Lead and other metals are smelted and molded into pieces for new batteries.
If your business is using a large number of batteries, implement a recycling program. These businesses usually include construction, automotive repair, and real estate. Approved battery facilities show us how to recycle batteries.
It is helpful if you separate your chemicals before recycling to help the plant do its job. These bulk battery recycling types include a pick-up service, or you can usually drop off your old batteries.
Think practically about recycling your batteries and electronics. Contact a bulk recycling plant about disposing of your old batteries and their chemicals. We owe it to our environment to keep it protected.
Let us know how this article helped you with your disposal. There you have it how to avoid ecological damage and disaster. NiCad battery recycling is here to help you do more good than harm.