An article that looks at reasons why batteries need to be disposed of correctly and the effects and dangers if they are not, as well as how to get rid of used batteries safely
As society becomes seemingly more reliant on clever and innovative gadgets and widgets, batteries are used in increasing numbers of household devices and appliances. Although in spite of their widespread use, many people do not always know how to dispose of batteries safely and in a responsible way, as well as the dangers of keeping old batteries.
An EU directive in 2010 stated that retailers selling batteries should offer recycling facilities for them; this is intended to reduce the number of batteries that end up in landfills.
Why should old batteries be recycled?
There are several health and safety issues associated with used batteries. One of the biggest health and safety concerns is that children can swallow them or, equally as dangerous, inset them into nostrils, which can, not only cause blockages, but leaking batteries may cause chemical burns.
Batteries disposed of in landfill sites leak acid and other corrosive chemicals into the water table or directly into streams and rivers causing contamination over a wide area.
There are a number of schemes and companies that can collect used batteries and dispose of them correctly and there may also be facilities at your local refuse tip that can deal with them.
How to recycle batteries that have been used
Your local council will be able to give you details of the nearest battery recycling services, or staff at a nearby refuse tip can give you advice on where you can go. It is also important to handle used batteries with care as they can leak, so it is safest to store them in a sealable bag to prevent the corrosive acids from spilling and causing burns or damage to surfaces.
Retailers that sell over a certain amount of batteries each year will have to provide facilities to recycle them as well, so check with your local electronics shop or supermarket to see if they have a recycling program in place.
Batteries are a dangerous waste product and no one should give in to the temptation to just throw them in the bin as they can do serious damage to the environment.
There will be facilities to recycle them within easy reach of most households and these are being increased and improved all the time so there is no excuse not to dispose of your used batteries in a responsible manner, so take that little bit of extra time to throw your batteries away properly.
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