How to Properly Dispose of Old Batteries
Have you ever wondered how you should dispose of your old batteries? Many consumers tend to put them in their recycling bin or end up hoarding them. However, both methods are incorrect. So how do you responsibly dispose of batteries?
Knowing what kind of batteries you have is key to ensuring they will be recycled properly.
🔋 Single-use batteries. These are the most common types of batteries that can be found in TV remotes, children’s toys, and game controllers. While these batteries are safe enough to be trashed, it’s best not to. Single-use batteries that are thrown in the garbage get hauled off to a landfill and only contribute to solid waste.
🔋 Many electronics use rechargeable batteries like cellphones, digital cameras, and laptops. There are different kinds of rechargeable batteries which include:
- Nickel metal hydride and nickel-cadmium batteries
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Small, sealed lead-acid batteries
Rechargeable batteries should never be thrown in the trash. These types of batteries contain different material than single-use batteries that can be hazardous to the environment.
Unfortunately, you cannot place single-use or rechargeable batteries in your recycling bin for collection. They must go to a special recycling facility so they can be broken down and sorted. Once you have found a special recycling facility that will accept your batteries, you should prepare them for recycling.
For single-use batteries:
- Place your batteries in a bag or tape them: To avoid a fire hazard, tape each end of the battery with clear, non-conductive tape to prevent residual discharge. If you do not have tape, you can place each battery in its own bag instead.
- Store your batteries in a non-conductive container: Place the wrapped batteries in a cardboard box or a container. Do not place them in a metal box because they could spark causing a fire.
For rechargeable batteries:
- Take the old batteries out of your electronics: Make sure to remove the rechargeable batteries from your old electronics. Your electronics will need to be recycled separately.
- Tape or bag your batteries: Just like with single-use batteries, you’ll want to safely tape or bag them for recycling. Please see above for directions.
Now that your batteries are safe for transport, you can drop them off at the nearest special recycling facility. Try to drop them off within 6 months once they are bagged or taped.
At The EcoFairy, our goal is to help you build a more sustainable life by offering you a line of reusable products. We offer products that last and that will help you reduce the amount of plastic you use.