You may have been wondering if you can throw away your batteries with other household waste because the composition of batteries appears to be a threat to the environment. Heavy metals and harsh chemicals also become a concern as most people believe it can be harmful to their health.
When batteries reach the end of their life cycle, they have a tendency to leak out chemicals from their casing—which has a possibility to expose humans to its harmful substances. That's why it is best to know the right way to dispose of your batteries to prevent further damage to the environment and your health.
Know the Different Disposal Methods for Every Battery Types
- Button Cell Batteries
If you didn't know yet, these round and small batteries have tiny amounts of mercury that are deemed to be hazardous, making them an item that’s necessary to be recycled. If you intend to store these batteries for recycling, make sure to put it in a non-metallic container and in a dry area. Button cell batteries are usually found in watches, digital clocks, toys, and hearing aids.
- Rechargeable Batteries
The recycling process of a rechargeable battery is quite tricky. Since lithium-ion batteries are capable of storing a lot of energy and can be recharged hundreds of times, they can trigger fires when crushed. Unlike disposable batteries which can be thrown in a regular garbage bin, rechargeable ones should be recycled in local recycling facilities that are specializing in batteries. It's important to note that rechargeable batteries shouldn't be recycled along with bottles or papers.
- Disposable Batteries
Single-use batteries, also known as disposable batteries, are very safe to go in the trash. Historically speaking, they used to contain mercury before but the Battery Act of 1996 made it possible to prohibit the usage of mercury in regular disposable batteries. This makes it safer and more convenient to use than button cell batteries which still contain the chemical to this day.
However, it is advised to look for battery recycling facilities to recycle these batteries since they still contain dangerous elements like lead that is a strong poison and a toxic metal.
As it turns out, regular batteries such as Alkaline, can be harmlessly disposed of but be wary of throwing them out in a fire because they may explode. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries and car batteries should be recycled and are recommended not to be mixed with your regular household waste.