Should You Recycle Batteries?

22nd Jun 2014

Most electronics in use today require batteries to run. While this is something that we don’t put much thought into, batteries can pose an extreme danger to the environment. The magnitude of the problem is often overlooked especially because most people don’t realize the kinds of chemicals that batteries contain and are unaware of the recycling processes associated with their disposal.

A battery may range from a large lead acid battery within your vehicle to the small ones in the computer mouse.

Why Recycle?

The numbers show that more than 3 billion dry cell batteries are purchased every year within the USA. In addition, one American is responsible for disposing of 8 batteries in a single year. A typical battery contains chemicals such as cadmium, lead, nickel, and mercury.

Most people find it convenient to simply throw a battery into the trash especially when it comes to smaller batteries such as AAA, D, C, AA, 9 Volt, etc.

The Damage to the Environment

The metals contained within a battery can pollute the environment especially when they have been released due to incineration.

Even if a battery has not been incinerated but has found its way to the landfill, the chemicals within the battery will leak acid and lead into the soil which can potentially damage groundwater supplies.

Although rechargeable batteries have reduced the pressure of non-recycled batteries on the environment, single use batteries are still going strong.

Kinds of Batteries

Currently there are two kinds of batteries which may be recycled; dry cell and wet cell. A dry cell battery is typically used in consumer electronics such as carbon zinc and alkaline batteries. Another type of dry cell battery is the lithium ion which is typically found in cellular phones.

Wet cell batteries, on the other hand, are the lead and acid batteries which are installed in cars, boats, motorcycles, UPSs, electric scooters, etc.

Recycling batteries

Wet cell batteries are the are the easiest to recycle and most car retailers are authorized to collect and recycle them in specialized centers for free.

For Profit Collectors

Dry cell batteries on the other hand can be recycled at specific municipal sites such as those of sanitation companies and retailers.

City Collections

Many cities have collection sites which are reserved for hazardous materials which includes batteries. In fact many cities have simply outlawed the disposal of batteries in municipal dumps. There may even be specific collection days for disposed batteries at least once or twice a year.


Many consumer electronic chains such as Office Depot and Best Buy have kiosks where you can dispose your batteries for recycling.

Mail Order Disposal

There are many battery recycling services that mail safe disposal boxes to customers. The amounts of batteries that the box can contain are usually predefined. This solution is more preferable for offices where there is extensive use of batteries or for an employee recycling drive.

Disposing off batteries is extremely important as the device frenzy continues to increase. One individual in the USA has about 4-5 devices in possession which contain batteries. The more batteries that end up in landfills and incinerators the worse the impact on the environment would be.

SLA Battery Recycling Iconographic

SLA Battery Recycling Iconographic