How to dispose of batteries? – Empty cells for electrical appliances, so-called used batteries, often still end up in household waste.
It is even worse if they are getting disposed of in nature. Therefore, the return and recycling of old batteries are getting regulated in the USA.
Read the most important questions and answers about disposing of batteries here.
A related video about “Why Can’t You Throw Away Batteries?” here to watch.
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Table of Contents
How to dispose of batteries? – Disposing of old cells in an environmentally friendly way!
Batteries and accumulators accompany our everyday life. They make it possible to use many devices on the move and independent of the power grid.
The significance of environmental and resource protection lies in their content: batteries and rechargeable batteries contain recyclable materials.
Still, they can also contain substances that are hazardous to health and the environment. Therefore, they do not belong in the household waste under any circumstances.
Read below the six best tips on disposing of old batteries the best way:
- Every shop selling batteries is legally obliged to take back used batteries.
- Therefore you will find in almost all shops, mostly in the entrance or cash desk area, a corresponding container where you can throw your old batteries.
- A proof that you bought the battery in the shop is usually not required.
- Frequently, container collection points also have appropriate containers, especially for batteries and accumulators.
- You hand in your old car battery at the specialist shop where you purchased the new car battery. In this case, you must keep the receipt or the voucher.
- You may also be able to return your old batteries to the collection point. However, it is better to find out whether the cells are accepted there in advance on the Internet.
Appliance batteries accompany our everyday life. But how long can you store them, and where do you dispose of them? Here are the answers.
Which batteries are available?
Batteries are non-rechargeable (or very limited) storage devices for electrical energy.
According to the battery law, a distinction is getting made between portable batteries, vehicle batteries (example starter batteries), and industrial batteries.
Where can empty batteries be disposed of?
Empty batteries, so-called used batteries, for electrical appliances can be disposed of free of charge in designated collection boxes in drugstores, supermarkets, and electrical shops or at the local authorities’ free hazardous waste collection and recycling centers.
They are then sorted in the recycling plants and separated into their components for optimum recycling.
What happens to batteries in residual waste?
If batteries are disposed of in residual waste and later incinerated in an incineration plant, toxic pollutants, including mercury, cadmium, and lead, can be released into the air.
Besides, valuable raw materials such as aluminum, lithium, and silver are getting lost during recycling.
How harmful is this to health?
If the heavy metals contained in batteries such as lead, mercury, and cadmium enter the human body via the food chain, this can have serious health consequences:
Mercury is highly toxic and, when exposed to high and prolonged levels, leads to damage to the nervous, immune, and reproductive systems.
Cadmium compounds can cause kidney damage, among other things, and are getting suspected of being carcinogenic if inhaled.
Lead can harm and damage the central nervous system and the organs.
How do you dispose of leaking batteries?
If batteries are damaged, they can leak. The leaking liquid is usually the so-called electrolyte.
It serves the chemical reaction and ensures that the electrically charged particles (ions) are getting transported in batteries. If it leaks out as acid or lye, it crystallizes.
Therefore, it is best to remove the leaking battery and its residues with gloves. If some of the liquid does get on your hands, they should be getting washed thoroughly.
How can I prevent leakage?
Remove the batteries from devices that are not getting used for a long time. It will prevent possible damage.
Batteries that have been damaged, deformed, or leaked should generally not be getting used again.
Do batteries have an expiration date?
Yes, this is the warranty date for the specified voltage. It is getting stated on the battery packaging.
However, if this date has expired, the battery may still be usable under certain circumstances, says the environment experts.
What’s the best way to store batteries?
Store the batteries in a preferred cool and dry place – but not in the refrigerator because strong temperature fluctuations can harm the energy storage.
Battery or rechargeable battery: What is the difference?
Batteries also called primary batteries or disposable batteries, cannot be recharged. These include mainly zinc-carbon and alkaline manganese batteries.
In contrast, rechargeable batteries, also called secondary cells, are rechargeable batteries such as lead, nickel, cadmium, or lithium-ion batteries. Accordingly, rechargeable batteries are also batteries.
How sustainable are rechargeable batteries?
The best thing for the environment and your wallet is to use rechargeable batteries. The more often rechargeable batteries are recharged, the higher the savings for the environment than non-rechargeable cells.
Battery manufacturers promise around 500 to 1,000 possible restores if used correctly. By charging and storing them correctly, the life of a rechargeable battery can even be getting doubled in some cases.
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