Battery Recycling and Disposal
If you drive a car, use a cell phone or even change the channel on your tv remote at any point during the day, you’re probably aware of the importance and the abundance of batteries in your life. Those little power packs make it so much easier to get electricity where you need it, which is why they are so widely used in a number of different applications. Although there are a great deal of uses for batteries and a number of different types of batteries available, one thing each battery has in common, from large car batteries to small AAAs, is the fact that they will eventually wear out. That leaves us with the question as to what we can do with a spent battery. Do we toss them in the trash, or can we recycle our dead batteries?
Types of Batteries
The answer to our question depends on a few major factors, the biggest of which relates to the type of battery we are dealing with. There are many different batteries that are used for many different applications, but for the most part we can categorize batteries that the average person uses on a daily basis in three groups. The first group includes smaller batteries used for items around the house such as AA, AAA, C, D and 9v batteries. The next category covers larger batteries used to start engines like those found in a car or a riding lawnmower. The last group of batteries includes rechargeable lithium batteries that get used in items like cellphones and power tools. Now that we know what kinds of batteries we are dealing with, we can discuss the proper ways to dispose of each type.
Small Batteries Recycling and Disposal
In the past, these types of batteries could not be thrown away into the common trash. This was largely due to the fact that batteries of this type contained harmful materials such as mercury. In order to avoid having harmful chemicals seep into the ground from landfills, it was deemed necessary to keep these batteries out of the trash. Since the late 1990s however, new laws have passed which govern what types of chemicals companies can use in their batteries. The batteries found in today’s average home only contain elements like steel, zinc and manganese, which are safe to throw away into a landfill. Before you do throw out your old batteries however, it is important to check their label for any indicators of harmful substances. If you need to dispose of these batteries in a safer manner, you can take advantage of mail order disposal services such as Battery Solutions, or dispose of the batteries at one of Polar Battery locations in Vancouver, Kamloops or Vernon.
Large Batteries Recycling and Disposal
For larger batteries found in a car or a tractor, it is inadvisable to simply throw them in the trash. Fortunately, there is a well established system managed by Vancouver’s waste management centres as well as auto part stores to safely recycle these batteries. Although they may be dead, there are plenty of valuable components that can be recycled from these batteries, which is why it is important to make sure you dispose of these large batteries in a proper fashion.
Rechargeable Batteries Recycling and Disposal
One of the more complex and concerning issues with rechargeable batteries is how to manage their safe disposal. The rechargeable lithium batteries found in everything from cell phones to hearing aids and power tools need to be properly recycled according to strict guidelines. Any rechargeable batter from an old phone or broken electronic should be taken to the proper location for disposal. In Vancouver, and the rest of North America, people can rely on the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) to safely dispose of their old rechargeable batteries and electronics. This corporation is managed by battery manufacturers and has set up stations located at places like hardware stores, electronic stores and municipal waste management centres for safe disposal of rechargeable batteries. Once the batteries arrive at RBRC processing centres, they are exposed to heat which separates metals such as lead, nickel, iron and cobalt, which are then repurposed for use in new batteries.
At Polar Battery, we are proud to encourage the proper disposal and recycling of old batteries in our community and throughout Vancouver, Kamloops and Vernon. It is important to us to maintain a policy of environmental awareness and ecological responsibility. It is our hope that safe and proper battery disposal becomes more and more common so the battery industry can continue to thrive, along with our planet.
Polar Battery is a member of the Canadian Battery Association and recycles all batteries responsibly. Bring us your old batteries! No matter how big or small, we can take it.