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What To Do With Old Lithium Batteries
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Ebl Rechargeable 9v Batteries (2 Pack), 5400mwh Long Lasting Lithium Ion Batteries
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All rechargeable batteries must be recycled, while some single-use batteries can be thrown away. Ihor Hvozdecki/Shuttershock
With so many batteries powering the gadgets in our homes and pockets, the question that ultimately arises is what to do when those batteries die?
Jason Gates, chief executive of Compology, a technology company focused on building sustainable waste and recycling systems, said that while it may be tempting to throw dead batteries in the trash, doing so can affect your health and the environment.
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According to the California Department of Resource Recovery, nearly 4 billion single-use batteries are shipped to the United States each year. Most of them end up in landfills, Gates said, adding, “When batteries go into landfills, they oxidize and rot over time, allowing the heavy metals inside to seep into the ground and into our water supply.”
In addition to the impact on the environment, improperly disposed batteries can pose a safety hazard. Some types of batteries, especially lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, can cause fires during transport or at recycling centers.
To dispose of batteries safely, you need to plan ahead and store them safely until you can send them to an appropriate recycling facility. That’s all you need to know.
Important: If you see a white powder residue on the battery, it means the battery is leaking. The white color is the result of the chemical reaction with oxygen. “When this happens, the battery is unusable and should be disposed of immediately,” Gates said.
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Common regular alkaline batteries (including AA, Ds, 9 volt, etc.) are considered safe for household waste. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Gates still recommends recycling batteries whenever possible.
All other non-rechargeable batteries, including primary lithium batteries and button watch batteries, contain hazardous heavy metals and toxic chemicals and should not be disposed of in regular trash or recycling programs.
The best way to dispose of disposable batteries is to collect them in the trash until you are ready to send them to an appropriate disposal facility. As an extra precaution, tape the ends of the battery terminals and store them in a plastic or cardboard container.
Important: Rules regarding battery disposal vary by city, but all states except California allow you to legally dispose of disposable batteries in the trash. However, even if you live outside the Golden State, you should recycle batteries whenever possible, Gates said.
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In most US states, it is illegal to dispose of rechargeable batteries in the trash or recycling bins. Although rechargeable batteries can be recycled, they must be taken to a recycling center or separate collection point where they can be recycled.
In general, using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries reduces waste, making them a more economical and environmentally friendly option.
Once they reach the end of their useful life, store used rechargeable batteries in a container until you can take them to a battery recycling center or disposal point. Note that some retailers only accept certain types of batteries, so it’s best to check before you go.
NOTE: Not all rechargeable batteries are removable. “If the battery cannot be removed, the entire device should be taken to a certified electronics recycler or retailer that offers electronics recycling,” Gates said.
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To recycle batteries, you will need to take them to your city’s battery recycling center or hazardous waste collection point. Some retailers also offer battery recycling services.
A first step you can take is to check your city’s official website for more information on local policies. From there, you should be able to find battery discharges at schools, public libraries, or other municipal buildings.
In some states, major retailers such as Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart offer e-waste collection and drop-off programs.
Proper disposal of batteries is important to human health and safety. Disposing of the old battery may cause a fire or create an environmental hazard. The best way to recycle or dispose of batteries is to contact your city to find out about battery disposal policies or recycling programs available.
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Steph Coelho is a freelance writer and homemaker with a passion for home and kitchen items. He is always on the lookout for the best gadgets for the home and kitchen and is determined to help people sort the treasures from the trash. As someone who works from home 365 days a year, she excels at creating a welcoming space for every activity on her to-do list. Steph currently lives in the Montreal area in a 1970s style bungalow with her husband, two dogs and a parrot named Felix. Say hello to [email protected] or @seestephrunmtl on Twitter and @frontyardharvest on Instagram
We may receive a commission when you shop through our links, but our reports and recommendations are always independent and objective. Batteries power all sorts of things and make life easier. But when the battery dies or won’t charge, it’s time to throw it away. Depending on the type of battery and where you live, batteries may be disposed of differently.
This guide reviews how to dispose of batteries and describes how to recycle them. Includes information on disposable and rechargeable batteries.
Disposable batteries only work for a limited time. Disposable alkaline batteries include AA, AAA, 9 volt, and size D. You can find these batteries in alarm clocks, remote controls, flashlights, smoke detectors, and other items. When the disposable battery is exhausted, it must be replaced.
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Rechargeable batteries can be charged multiple times. You can use it again and again. It is found in cordless phones, smartphones and digital cameras. Cordless power tools and similar devices also use it.
Batteries contain active chemicals and metals that generate electricity. Recycling these valuable materials helps protect the environment. However, disposable alkaline batteries are considered harmless. They can be thrown in most places.
The types of rechargeable batteries used include lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium. Other types are NiMH, NiZn and small sealed lead-acid batteries. The toxic metals used in these batteries can harm the environment if discarded.
Household rechargeable 9-volt batteries, AA and AAA batteries, and D-size batteries look like alkaline batteries. But it can be reused with a compatible charger. Rechargeable batteries can be recycled. Look for the rechargeable battery return label.
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Rechargeable battery components are properly disposed of by recycling companies. Metals and chemicals don’t end up in rivers and landfills.
Most locations do not accept disposable alkaline batteries for recycling. You cannot take disposable batteries to The Home Depot’s Call2Recycle recycling facility.
In most places, you can throw alkaline batteries, such as AA, AAA, and D-size batteries, in the trash. They can be taken to the curb with household waste. Many landfills will also accept bags of alkaline batteries. However, in the state of California, it is illegal to dispose of batteries of any type, including alkaline batteries.
Although a disposable battery can no longer power the device, it can still generate electricity. They can be dangerous if not handled properly. Collect used household batteries in a container. Cardboard boxes or plastic buckets are safe bets. Before removing the 9-volt battery terminals, tape them together to prevent a fire. You can use duct tape, electrical tape, or masking tape.
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Alkaline batteries, such as AA, AAA and D batteries, contain valuable materials. These batteries can be harmful to the environment when disposed of. You should recycle them whenever possible.
Alkaline batteries are not accepted at Home Depot or most locations that offer battery recycling. Instead of disposing of your own alkaline batteries, you can order a recycling kit for them. Call2Recycle is a company that offers battery recycling kits by mail. The kit includes a container to collect used disposable batteries.
Once the container is full, you can take the alkaline batteries to a recycling center. The cost of a recycling kit varies, depending on the size and the company you order from.
These batteries are also known as button cells. They are
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