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How to recycle used batteries


Wondering what to do with used batteries? Consider recycling them!

Batteries are all over the place, we can see it in all kinds of electronic devices. A battery is an electrochemical device to convert chemical energy to electrical energy to provide power to our electronic devices. The chemical used in battery will pollute the environment heavily if the batteries are improperly disposed of. In this article will show you how to safety disposed and recycled a used battery.

Lead-Acid Automobile Batteries

Lead-Acid automobile batteries are types of rechargeable batteries usually used on our cars. Almost any retailer that sells lead-acid batteries collects used batteries for recycling, as required by most state laws. Almost 90% of the lead-acid batteries are recycled.

Non-Automotive Lead-Based Batteries

Gel cells and sealed lead-acid batteries are commonly used to power industrial equipment, emergency lighting, and alarm systems. The same recycling process applies as with automotive batteries. An automotive store or a local waste agency may accept the batteries for recycling.

Household batteries - Dry-Cell Batteries

This is the common battery we used everyday. It include alkaline and carbon zinc, mercuric-oxide, silver-oxide, zinc-air, and lithium.

Alkaline batteries

Alkaline batteries are a type of power cell dependent upon the reaction between zinc and manganese dioxide (Zn/MnO2). Alkaline batteries have a higher energy density and longer shelf-life compare to the arbon zinc batteries. They can be used in Cassettes players, radios, or appliances

Carbon zinc batteries

Carbon zinc batteries are packaged in a zinc can that serves as both a container and anode. Carbon zinc batteries are the least expensive batteries and thus a popular choice by manufacturers when devices are sold with batteries included. They can be used in remote controls, flashlights, toys, or transistor radios.

Mercuric-oxide batteries

Mercuric oxide battery is not the common battery as it content of mercury. the sale of mercury batteries is banned in many countries due to environmental concerns.

Silver oxide batteries

Silver oxide batteries have a long life and very high energy/weight ratio, but a prohibitive cost for most applications due to the high price of silver.They are available in either very small sizes as button cells where the amount of silver used is small, or in large custom design batteries where the superior performance characteristics of the silver oxide chemistry outweigh cost considerations.

Zinc-air batteries

Zinc-air batteries are electro-chemical batteries powered by the oxidation of zinc with oxygen from the air. These batteries have high energy densities and are relatively inexpensive to produce. They are used in hearing aids and in experimental electric vehicles. They may be an important part of a future zinc economy.

Lithium batteries

Lithium batteries are batteries that have lithium metal or lithium compounds as an anode. Depending on the design and chemical compounds used, lithium cells can produce voltages from 1.5 V to about 3 V, twice the voltage of an ordinary zinc-carbon battery or alkaline cell. Lithium batteries are used in many portable consumer electronic devices, and are widely used in industry.


Environmental Hazards of Household Batteries

There are more and more batteries using in our household. A battery is an electrochemical device to convert chemical energy to electrical energy to provide power to our electronic devices. Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can heavily pollute the environment when batteries are improperly disposed of.

Batteries may produce the following environmental hazards:

Burning the batteries in public area will pollute the lakes and streams as the metals vaporize into the air when burned and it may cause burns or danger to eyes and skin.

Contribute to heavy metals that potentially may leach from solid waste landfills.

Batteries waste in riverside will pollute the water with strong acid. Animals or human drinking from these water will be harm by the pollution of the water.

What you can do before buying new batteries

So, do you wonder what you can do before buying the new batteries to prevent waste and lower the environmental impact of your hand. Here will provide some of the recommendation for you.

Buy batteries that have less mercury and heavy metals.

The batteries now are reformulated to reduce the usage of mercury. Some batteries such as the alkaline battery have had about a 97 percent mercury reduction in the product. Newer alkaline batteries may contain about one-tenth the amount of mercury previously contained in the typical alkaline battery. Some alkaline batteries have zero-added mercury, and several mercury-free, heavy-duty, carbon-zinc batteries are on the market.

Try to not buy more batteries when you already have enough battery on hand.

Most of the people likes to buy more batteries and store it at home but it will not be using in some time. This is a waste and will increase the risk of battery pollution in your house.

Consider using of rechargeable batteries.

Rechargeable batteries has longer life span and use fewer batteries. However rechargeable batteries still contain heavy metals such as nickel-cadmium. When disposing of rechargeable batteries, recycle if possible.

Rechargeable batteries - Popular Rechargeable Batteries recommend by Amazon

Rechargeable batteries charger

How to recycle used Batteries

Now we comes to how to recycle used batteries. There are few simple step which you can do before you send to the recycling plant.

1. Sort used batteries base on content and size before sending them for recycling. Different size like AA or AAA battery and content like Alkaline, Carbon zinc, Mercuric-oxide, Silver oxide, Zinc-air or Lithium battery is go through a different process of recycling.

2. Store used batteries in a recycle bag and kept away from fire, high temperature and extreme sunlight. Don't left the used battery in your car while you not going to drop it in battery recycling drop box.

3. drop your used batteries in your nearest household battery recycling drop box. You can Surf website such as www.earth911.org or www.batteryrecycling.com on the location to drop your used batteries. Will be describe in further.


* Avoid burning used batteries. They pollute the air with their hazardous vapor.

* Avoid breaking or physically damaging the battery to expose its contents. They may cause skin burns and will harm your eyes.

Where to Recycle Your used Batteries?

Battery is a high chemical object that we need to send to some special organization to recycle. Those organization are funded by the battery manufacturers or government to help us dispose or recycle our used battery.

Here are the websites you could check location for the recycling center or the drop off point of used batteries.

Earth 911

Earth 911 is an organization that provide information on recycling of consumer products. Just fill in the product and your location to the text box in the main page and you will get the drop off point in a second.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC)

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) can help you recycle your used portable rechargeable batteries and old cell phones. Fill in your ZIP/Postal Code in the box and click go. The nearest drop off point for Battery Recycling Corporation will show up.

Battery Solutions

A new website provides consumers and businesses with information about recycling battery. It iRecycle Kit make batteries recycle easy for everyone. You can contact 800-852-8127 for more information.


SaveBatteryWaste.Com provides guidance and resources on recycling batteries, including links to council policies and the most comprehensive map of UK Battery Recycling Collection points.

More article on the web.

Do you recycle your battery? - Please feel free to share your experience.

pinkrenegade lm on June 06, 2012:

Great tips on battery recycling.

anonymous on March 13, 2012:

It's great to see that so many organizaions are out there trying to keep batteries out of the land fills.

I also work for a green company that recycles silver oxide batteries.


Get Green For Going Green!

leeleon on January 11, 2012:

nice lens. welcome to see my ideas of reusing eggshells.

selink on January 03, 2012:

Following the steps that were mentioned above would help us deal with hazardous waste easier. These are some of the tips that we must remember before giving our used batteries to those who have been collecting them as well as hazardous waste Long Beachmaterials. This kind of method is very effective for we can be able to lessen waste that being dumped into our landfills.

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Bahrns on May 04, 2011:

Great info! Batteries are a necessity for many equipment. With a little recycling, we can help contribute to a healthier environment.

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manndtp on March 06, 2011:

One more reason I switched to reusable batteries.

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Great lens, very informative. Awareness is the key to any campaign. Recycling also in an effective way towards green and pollution free environment.http://www.concernergy.com/technologies_recycling_...

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Kylyssa Shay from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on February 17, 2010:

Wonderful lens with great re-use and recycle ideas! Thank you for sharing.

totalhealth on January 04, 2010:

great info, but many countries don't have a proper way of disposing batteries or people are unaware of its effect on the environment

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This is a really informative lens!

anonymous on April 20, 2009:

Great stuff to know if you want to be Green And Ready ..

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