Batteries are everywhere. They power our cars, our phones, our tablets, our watches, our children’s toys and more. But the chemicals in them mean that they are not suitable to go in skips or in your household waste. Batteries must be disposed of responsibly to avoid hazardous chemicals leaking into the environment.
Where can I recycle batteries?
Most retailers that sell batteries will also recycle them for you. That’s because legislation came into effect in 2010 meaning that shops that sell more than 32kg of batteries a year (that’s about 345 four-packs of AA batteries) must provide battery recycling collection facilities in-store. Otherwise, batteryback.org have deposit points all over the country to make battery disposal as easy as possible.
Should all batteries be recycled?
All types of battery should be recycled. That goes for the little round ones you have in your watch to the big ones in your car. And batteries in electronic items like phones and laptops too. If you need to recycle a car battery, you can usually take it to a car garage or service centre. They may even buy it back from you.
How are batteries recycled?
If you take your batteries to a batteryback.org drop-off for recycling, your batteries will eventually end up in a plant in Belgium. Here, alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries are sorted, crushed and screened. Then they are chemically treated, through a process of washing, filtration, an acid attack and more filtration to separate out the individual chemicals.