Everything You Need to Know About Recycling Batteries
Batteries are a household staple and can be found in every room in the house, being used in everything from toys to remote controls. While most people make a conscious effort to recycle paper, glass and plastic, batteries are often forgotten. Due to this, the amount of batteries being dumped in landfills is extremely high, with around 600 million being thrown away across the UK each year.
In an ideal world, there would be no need for disposable batteries as they would all be rechargeable. However, this is not the case and so, it is important that we find responsible ways to dispose of single-use batteries that we no longer need.
Why Do We Need to Recycle Batteries?
Most people will throw used batteries into their household bins, which get taken to landfill sites. When they begin to rot, dangerous chemicals such as lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium and even mercury can leak into the ground. This can lead to soil and water pollution, which in turn, can harm animals, humans and the environment. Due to this, it is important that batteries are disposed of carefully. When they are recycled, each battery will be taken apart and used to make something new, helping to protect the environment.
What Type of Batteries Can Be Recycled?
The good news is that you can safely dispose of most batteries. These include:
- Single-use alkaline batteries (most common in households)
- Laptop batteries
- Car batteries
- Laptop batteries
Where Can I Recycle Batteries?
Across Northern Ireland, most councils offer battery recycling through household collection services or at your local recycling centre. Check with your local council here. Additionally, organisations that sell a large number of batteries each year are legally required to offer a battery recycling service. These may include supermarkets, DIY centres or even your local shop.
While regular batteries can be recycled in this way, car batteries must be taken to council recycling centres as they contain hazardous waste. Additionally, some car repair businesses may recycle old batteries.
In addition to recycling all single-use batteries, you should attempt to use rechargeable batteries or use mains electricity where possible. You could also try to buy appliances that use renewable energy such as wind-up radios or torches or a solar-powered calculator. By recycling any batteries you use and making these small changes, you can have a positive impact on the environment.