Lead, acid and other chemical components are found in the batteries we use to power everyday devices, and although batteries contain far smaller amounts of chemicals these days, they still need to be disposed of properly in order to ensure minimum damage to the environment and reduce fire risks. Soil contamination and water pollution are two of the biggest effects of incorrect battery disposal, and battery recycling aims to eliminate these risks.

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Safe recycling a priority


Older batteries are a priority when it comes to recycling as those manufactured before 1997 could contain more than 10 times the amount of mercury as a new battery. Mercury has largely been phased out in batteries, and the current batteries contain much smaller amounts of chemicals thanks to advancing technology. Some batteries are more readily recycled than others. Although almost every type of battery can now be recycled to some degree, lead-acid automotive batteries remain one of the most recycled types. More than 90% of these batteries are recycled and many automotive shops offer a discount if a battery is traded in, as a form of encouragement to promote the safe disposal of the power source.

The chemicals in batteries can be exceptionally flammable, and a battery recycling centre in England recently caught fire. The chemicals that made up the batteries caused explosions and illustrated how important the correct disposal of a battery can be, once again highlighting the need for correct handling of volatile chemical compounds.

Corporate responsibility


Increasing pressure from eco-conscious citizens and governments has caused battery manufacturers to offer recycling options and to educate and inform consumers about where and how they can recycle their batteries once they have reached the end of their lifespan. Reputable online suppliers and shops provide detailed information on how to recycle the type of battery purchased. Big suppliers like RS Components and Premier Farnell provide specific information for every product on their sites. If you buy batteries from RS Components, you will easily find information on environmentally friendly disposal options.

Rechargeable batteries are some of the most commonly used power sources in the world, and nickel-cadmium, lithium ion and nickel-zinc batteries can all be recycled effectively. Laptops, mobile phones, cameras, tablets and other popular technology all utilise rechargeable batteries, and the battery industry has sponsored many campaigns to ensure that these devices are recycled properly. Corporate responsibility plays a large part in the amount of recycling undertaken, and many campaigns have highlighted the need for correct disposal of old electrical devices. By educating the public, fewer batteries are thrown away and the impact on the environment is limited. There is also a lesser danger of injury when people try to dispose of batteries on their own, using dangerous methods.

Consumers can also play their part in the safe and efficient recycling of batteries, and they can limit their electronics purchases to devices that feature more eco-friendly options and ensure that old devices are always recycled properly. During the recycling process, much of the precious metals originally used in the battery are reclaimed, and nickel, lead, cobalt, iron and cadmium can be repurposed into new batteries rather than simply disposed of.

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Lead, acid and other chemical components are found in the batteries we use to power everyday devices, and although batteries contain far smaller amounts of chemicals these days, they still need to be disposed of properly in order to ensure minimum damage to the environment and reduce fire risks....