Did you know that batteries have been around for over 200 years? That’s right—they were first invented by Alessandra Volta, an Italian physicist, in 1800.
While they worked, however, they had one drawback—they corroded easily. As a result, they didn’t last long.
It wasn’t until 1980 that John Goodenough invented the modern lithium-ion battery. Nowadays, we use them for a variety of devices from hearing aids to gaming consoles!
What should you do with them once they’re at the end of their lifespan, though? Curious to know? Want to learn how to dispose of batteries? If so, you’re on the right page!
We’ve got all the answers for you below. Keep reading to learn more!
What Happens If You Throw Batteries in the Trash?
Batteries often contain toxic chemicals such as lithium, zinc, lead, even mercury. At landfill sites, these chemicals can easily leak into the ground. Over time, they can also pollute the soils and waterways!
It goes without saying but ingestion of contaminated water or soil (either directly or indirectly) poses a health risk. For this reason, it’s important to recycle batteries instead of throwing them in the garbage.
In fact, many municipalities prohibit you from throwing them out altogether!
How to Dispose of Batteries Properly
Have batteries that you’re done with? Put them in a pile—that way, you can recycle them all at once. The easiest way is probably to locate a recycling facility. Take us, for instance—we offer mail-back programs for those in the United States!
Do you live in South Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, or Ohio? If so, feel free to visit one of our locations for a drop-off. Not in the area? Don’t worry—you can make use of our mail-back program.
You can take a look at our different battery recycling kits on this page.
How Are Batteries Recycled?
Batteries dropped off at a recycling location are sent to a sorting facility. Once they’re there, they’re sorted by type and chemistry. From there, they are sent to various processing plants.
The first step involves crushing the batteries into tiny pieces—this separates the usable metals and chemicals. Afterward, the metals are melted down and used for other items such as new batteries.
What About Car Batteries?
Car batteries and other types of large lead-acid batteries should never go in the trash. Nearly all of them contain nickel cadmium, which can easily leach into the water, soil, and air.
Similar to regular batteries, you want to drop them off at a recycling depot. Most if not all will accept them free of charge for recycling. In fact, some will pay you for them!
Given their size, it only makes sense that they aren’t eligible for mail-in programs.
Recycling Your Dead Batteries
Hopefully, that gives you a better idea as to how to dispose of batteries properly. If anything, they should never be tossed in the trash—that will only damage the environment!
Need some help? Feel free to give us a call—we’ll be more than happy to help!