Have you ever wondered whether batteries should be disposed along with the rest of the ordinary home garbage? If so then take heart because you are not alone. It’s true that most people are aware that batteries can be recycled. However, very few among them know for certain that practically all variants of the battery are 100% recyclable. If you still have doubts regarding the assertions made above then read on to learn more.
There are over eight different types of battery all of which are 100% recyclable. This means that 100% of the materials used in making each type of battery are recovered and used to make new batteries or some other product. What follows is a brief description of some of the more common battery types and how they are recycled.
- Zinc-Carbon Battery
This battery type has a long history of use because it was among the first to be mass produced. The D size version was and is still used to power toys, hand-held torches and a variety of small gadgets. Batteries are broken apart during the first stage of the recycling process. Automated sorting gives carbon rods, manganese oxide powder, zinc casings and paper. The four constituents are then reused to making new batteries.
- Lithium ion Battery
The lithium ion battery gained popularity with the advent of the mobile phone. This battery is now found in smart phones, tablets, laptops and high end toys. During recycling, mechanical hammers pound the batteries to pieces. The metals are separated on the basis of their varying melting points and then cast into ingots and the plastic into pellets. The plastic and metal ingots are then used in the manufacture of new batteries or other products.
- Nickel-Cadmium Battery
This was the first mass produced rechargeable battery. The AAA and AA size versions are used mainly in TV remotes and high end toys. During recycling the batteries are mechanically broken apart. The plastic is molten and reformed into pellets while the metals are separated by thermal treatment and cast into ingots. The plastic pellets and metal ingots are then used in making new batteries.
All in all, each of the eight battery types is recycled in a manner similar to those explained above. Therefore instead of putting batteries with the rest of the garbage, you should put them in a small plastic bag and then leave it next to the garbage. You will make it easier for waste collection crews to segregate the batteries from the garbage for recycling.