The modern convenience of batteries is often taken for granted by the average person in today’s age. The luxury if sitting on a couch and casually clicking a remote to change the television, or simply turning a key and powering up a care are not often thought of on a regular basis, and usually come to mind when the battery goes dead. Few individuals sit around saying “I’m so grateful for my batteries” every time they rely on them. While batteries are a wonderful convenience to modern man however, they can also be quite toxic to the environment, which makes battery recycling so important.
On average, each person throws away eight dry-cell batteries each year. A dry cell battery is the type of batter used to power small household items like clocks and radios. Double and triple A batteries, C, D, and 9-vot batteries are all dry-cell batteries. Batteries are powered by heavy metals that interact with chemicals, so simply discarding batteries can cause a horrible impact on the environment, especially when old batteries leak and mixed with rain water pollute the soil and into drinking water systems. The invention of rechargeable batteries significantly helps in this scenario, by making it simple for the average person to do their own battery recycling right from home. Non-rechargeable dry-cell batteries should still be recycled in appropriate ways however, and local drop sites should be found for these items.
Lead-acid batteries are broken down into two groups – automotive, and non-automotive. Most lead-acid batteries are made from between sixty and eighty percent already recycled parts, and it’s estimated that on average ninety percent of automotive lead-acid batteries are recycled. Lead-acid batteries of the non-automotive type are commonly used in powering machines, alarms, and emergency lighting. These batteries are less commonly recycled, but can be dropped off at most automotive stores or waste agencies which partake in battery recycling.
Battery recycling has been increased in recent years due to increased awareness of environmental effects of the batteries that don’t make it into recycling. The manufacturing of batteries has also been changed, especially when mercury was phased out of most batteries in 1996 due to legislation limiting its use. Some countries or regions within countries have special laws governing the disposal of batters which make it illegal to discard batteries without recycling. Some of these areas allow for the disposal of dry-cell batteries in the trash, but restrict other types of batteries to recycling only. Regardless of the laws however, it is always best for the environment to take part in battery recycling at all times.