Climate Conscious
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Climate Conscious

The Hidden Gem of Recycling

Learn the process of recycling batteries

Photo by Roberto Sorin on Unsplash

Many people don’t know how to properly recycle batteries. 1 out of 3 people have admitted to throwing away batteries rather than recycling them.

Unfortunately, the process is lengthy and isn’t as easy as recycling other materials. However, by not properly recycling batteries it causes more damage than just more waste in the landfill. When the batteries start to disintegrate, all the toxic chemicals within the battery seep into the surrounding environment contaminating the soil and water affecting wildlife. Although, there are many types of batteries, the main household alkaline batteries can be thrown out due to the fact that they aren’t hazardous if you dispose of them properly. However, if you would like to recycle your single use batteries, there are many ways to do that.

  1. If you would like to recycle, you can call your local waste district to see if they have a collection service or an upcoming event where you can drop your used batteries. In my area, they have drop off event from Household Hazardous Waste where you can give them your batteries.
  2. UPS has a battery service where you pack your batteries and they recycle it for you. However, this service is meant to collect batteries in bulk. This could be useful for businesses since they use and buy batteries in bulk or communities who can collect batteries in bulk.
  3. Many other companies are willing to take batteries and recycle them. Companies like Batteries and Bulbs are willing to take nearly almost any kind of battery all you have to do is find a store in your area.

Recycling batteries is preferred and is always better than trashing it, however throwing them away is also an option. If you would like to throw away your alkaline batteries then you must follow these steps:

  1. Put the used batteries in a container, preferably a cardboard box or plastic tube.
  2. Any batteries 9-volts of higher should be taped to prevent fires.

By following these simple steps, you create a safe and easy way to properly dispose of alkaline batteries. The steps above should also be followed for the larger batteries in smoke detectors, remotes, flashlights, and clocks.

Furthermore, for the batteries in your devices and rechargeable batteries you need to recycle them because these batteries are hazardous.

  1. You can call your local waste district and see if there are events or collection services that will accept batteries in your area.
  2. Secondly, Home Depot has partnered with Call2Recycle so you can drop off your rechargeable batteries or devices in any of the bins around the store. However, it’s not just Home Depot, using the Call2Recycle locator you can find places in your area that will take your batteries, all you need to do is check the boxes for the batteries you would like to drop off.
  3. The UPS battery service also could be used for devices and rechargeable batteries as well. Using this service, you can recycle your batteries in bulk and with ease.

Finally, if you would like to recycle car batteries, you would follow similar steps with different websites. Car batteries are the most recycled material all over the world, 99% of a car battery can be recycled. Many of the chemicals and parts in a car battery are used to make many other things like detergent and new batteries. Therefore, if nothing else, recycle your car battery and here is how to do that.

  1. Using the website Clarios, you can just type in your zip code and it will give you places to recycle your car battery in a select mile radius.

Recycling batteries is evidently a long and time consuming process, however, the benefits will outweigh the harms when it comes to recycling any kind of battery.

Firstly, you save the environment from being damaged by the chemicals in the battery. By not recycling, you could leave not only the soil and the water contaminated, but also affect wildlife. Secondly, by recycling you are allowing us to reuse the waste not just add to the mountains of trash already in our landfills. We can reuse the materials to make new things and save that material from the landfills. Lastly, by recycling you leave no risk of accidentally starting a fire by not properly disposing of your used batteries. Recycling and being educated on the impact of not recycling can be greatly impact the amount of batteries we add to the landfill.

Currently, Americans are throwing away 3 billion batteries in landfills every year and this number is expected to go up to 28 billion per year. By recycling we can greatly reduce that number and continue to protect our climate and the environment we live in. Recycling batteries can make a difference.

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