Many of the household items and the gadgets we use for work and business are made of electronic and electrical materials run by batteries. Batteries are a common commodity in this electronic age. But batteries also have a life. Just like anything that has a life, batteries are also not immortal. By the time they have reached the end of their life, they are usually no longer useful. However, most people do not dispose and recycle their batteries.
For one thing, not everyone has common knowledge of the differences in batteries. Each type of battery has its own composition. Most batteries we know contain of alkaline and carbon. In the past, batteries contained mercury and lead, although these have greatly reduced since the 1990s because of its harmful effects to the environment. Most batteries now have no mercury content while some still contain some amount of lead. Both substances are very dangerous to a person’s health if exposed. Some batteries also contain sulfuric acid which is also very toxic. Most recently, electronic gadgets like mobile phones use nickel cadmium batteries which have been regarded as very dangerous material that cause cancer. If these batteries are not properly disposed or recycled, the toxic substances and materials in it can easily put everyone at risk.
Batteries that contain heavy metals must be properly disposed of. Common batteries that can and should be recycled are those with nickel cadmium (NiCd), lead and lead acid, nickel metal hydrite (NiMH), lithium (Li), and silver oxide. Many of these elements and substances are used in rechargeable and button batteries.
Car batteries are among those that are the easiest to recycle. Most car battery sellers have a recycling program which can easily be done every time a new car battery is purchased. Car batteries are also known as wet-cell batteries so there are specific ways to recycle them that the battery sellers can handle well.
Laptop batteries are among those that need to be recycled properly because of the highly dangerous toxic materials they contain. Older laptops have higher toxicity in the batteries because of the materials used in the past. It was only most recently that laptop batteries used less toxic metals. An organization called Call2Recycle specializes in recycling rechargeable batteries including those in laptops. Anyone can easily ship their laptop batteries to the organization for disposal and recycling purposes.
Batteries that are for single use only usually do not need to be recycled but still needs to be properly disposed. The metal casings of these single use batteries might be recycled in some cases but the inside materials will not be reused or recycled. Most of the single use batteries are made of alkaline. The use of Mercury in alkaline-based batteries has been eliminated by most battery manufacturers. This is why many of the battery companies do not have recycling programs for their single use batteries as these can easily be disposed along with household trash.
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