If you are having a difficult time finding out what to do with used batteries and where you can take them to be recycled or safely treated and disposed, then you should find a solution here on this page. Whether you have a AAA, AA, C, D, watch, button, hearing aid or car battery, there is a solution.  Use the table of contents to jump ahead to the summary table if you are not interested in the background information (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery).

People are using more and more household batteries. The average person owns about two button batteries, ten normal (A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, etc.) batteries, and throws out about eight household batteries per year. About three billion batteries are sold annually in the U.S. averaging about 32 per family or ten per person. A battery is an electrochemical device with the ability to convert chemical energy to electrical energy to provide power to electronic devices. Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when batteries are improperly disposed of. When incinerated, certain metals might be released into the air or can concentrate in the ash produced by the combustion process (Sony VGP-BPS8 battery).

Batteries may produce the following potential problems or hazards:

In landfills, heavy metals have the potential to leach slowly into soil, groundwater or surface water. Dry cell batteries contribute about 88 percent of the total mercury and 50 percent of the cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. In the past, batteries accounted for nearly half of the mercury used in the United States and over half of the mercury and cadmium in the municipal solid waste stream. When burned, some heavy metals such as mercury may vaporize and escape into the air, and cadmium and lead may end up in the ash (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery).

Hazards of Household BatteriesControversy exists about reclaiming household batteries. Currently, most batteries collected through household battery collection programs are disposed of in hazardous waste landfills. Even stores and chains that have established take-back programs admit that it often ends up in the trash. There are no known recycling facilities in the U.S. that can practically and cost-effectively reclaim all types of household batteries, although facilities exist that reclaim some button batteries. Battery collection programs typically target button and nickel-cadmium batteries, but may collect all household batteries because of the consumers' difficulty in identifying battery types (Sony VGP-BPS9battery).

This may change now that California has mandated recycling for "dry cell" batteries.

Many states have regulations in place requiring some form of battery recycling. California mandates recycling for almost all battery types (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery).

The U.S. Congress passed the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act in 1996 to make it easier for rechargeable battery and product manufacturers to collect and recycle Ni-CD batteries and certain small sealed lead-acid batteries. For these regulated batteries, the act requires the following:

Nearly 90 percent of all lead-acid batteries are recycled. Almost any retailer that sells lead-acid batteries collects used batteries for recycling, as required by most state laws. Reclaimers crush batteries into nickel-sized pieces and separate the plastic components. They send the plastic to a reprocessor for manufacture into new plastic products and deliver purified lead to battery manufacturers and other industries. A typical lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic  (Sony VGP-BPS11 battery).

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 (ACER Travelmate 2300 Battery) .Dry-cell batteries include alkaline and carbon zinc (9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA), mercuric-oxide (button, some cylindrical and rectangular), silver-oxide and zinc-air (button), and lithium (9-volt, C, AA, coin, button, rechargeable). On average, each person in the United States discards eight dry-cell batteries per year (ACER Aspire 3020 Battery).

There are two types of batteries:

(1) primary — those that can not be reused, and

(2) secondary also called "rechargable" — those that can be reused.

Primary batteries include alkaline/manganese, carbon-zinc, mercuric-oxide, zinc-air, silver-oxide, and other types of button batteries. Secondary batteries (rechargeable) include lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and potentially nickel-hydrogen   (ACER Aspire 3000 Battery).

Batteries are constantly being reformulated - check the labelsSource Reduction Changes in Household BatteriesRead labels. Mercury reduction in ordinary alkaline batteries began in 1984 and continues today. During the last five years, the industry has reduced the total amount of mercury usage by about 86 percent. Since 1992 most alkaline batteries are manufactured with "no mercury added". 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  (ASUS Eee PC 900 Battery).

Mercuric-oxide batteries are being gradually replaced by new technology such as silver-oxide and zinc-air button batteries that contain less mercury.

Nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries are being researched. Alternatives such as cadmium free nickel and nickel-hydride system are being researched, but nickel-cadmium are unlikely to be totally replaced. Nickel-cadmium batteries can be reprocessed to reclaim the nickel. However, currently approximately 80 percent of all nickel-cadmium batteries are permanently sealed in appliances. Changing regulations may result in easier access to the nickel-cadmium batteries for recycling  (ASUS Eee PC 1000HE Battery).

Prevention of Household Battery WasteTo reduce waste, start with prevention. Starting with prevention creates less or no leftover waste to become potentially hazardous waste. The following are steps to take to prevent household battery waste (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery).

Rechargeable BatteriesRechargeable batteries result in a 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 (COMPAQ Presario M2000 Battery).

The use of rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries can reduce the number of batteries entering the waste stream, but may increase the amount of heavy metals entering the waste stream unless they are more effectively recycled. As of 1992, the percentage of cadmium in nickel-cadmium batteries was higher than the percentage of mercury in alkaline batteries, so substitution might only replace one heavy metal for another, and rechargeable batteries do use energy resources in recharging  (COMPAQ Presario 2100 Battery).

Rechargeable alkaline batteries are available along with rechargers.

- Real Disposal and Recycling MethodsCheck with your local solid waste management district (listed under County Government in your phone book) for any outlets for household battery recycling. See if your local jeweler, pharmacy or battery retailer will accept button batteries for recycling. Ohio EPA keeps a list of battery recycling and disposal companies on file; however, these companies are usually set up to serve industrial or municipal customers with bulk amounts of batteries rather than individuals .

www.daily-battery.com & www.laptopbattery-shop.co.uk .

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