How to dispose of old batteries – battery recycling

UK Home Improvement

How To Dispose of Old Batteries – Battery Recycling

Our reliance upon electricity continues to grow. Throughout your household how many AA, AAA, 9V, watch batteries, hearing aid batteries, mobile phone batteries, laptop batteries, camera batteries can you count? It is likely quite a few! We rely on battery technology quite a bit in our everyday lives; both at home and work, but what happens when they run out?

Regular, single-use Alkaline batteries can go in you dustbin, but try to avoid using one-time batteries. They are tempting for their price and fuss free nature, but consider the environment for a moment. Your food scrapings will rot away over time, but putting batteries made of various metals (steel, zinc, manganese) into landfill will do the environment no good.


In their place, use rechargeable batteries.

Nowadays they can be charged hundreds of times and some even come pre-charged making less hassle for you. There is also no difference in power performance between the two types and over their lifespan; you should also expect them to work out cheaper than one-time only batteries.

Importantly, rechargeable batteries cannot and should not be disposed of in household waste. Lithium, zinc air, nickel-cadmium; all used in the rechargeable batteries for our phones, laptops, and cameras need a bit more attention.

You can dispose of rechargeable batteries in a number of ways

  • Your local council’s waste disposal centre – turn up and drop off
  • Electrical shops  – go in store and use their battery drop off bins (not as widespread but still available)
  • Battery collection boxes – available from both online and “offline” companies, either post them off, or wait for a serviceman to collect your box

Following regulated processes, under these schemes your battery will be melted down and then reformed into more new batteries or alternate metal components.

Battery Collection

The battery recycling collection boxes are an attractive idea particularly for businesses that get through a decent amount of batteries.

However manufacturers do warn about holding a large group of “dead” batteries in one place. It is likely that whilst the battery doesn’t have enough energy for your torch etc, it will have some juice left inside. Mix this together with another 100 batteries and it poses a safety risk, as old batteries can leak, discharge and spark under certain extreme conditions!

It would be advisable, therefore, to get your battery box collected on a regular basis, rather than having them sit around for a whole year.

In short, there are a number of ways to dispose of your old batteries. Looking forward to the future, it seems inevitable that batteries of all forms will be recycled. Rather than asking why, begin your own battery recycling now and you won’t be having to ask where or how when that time comes.


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