Dangerous Alkaline Batteries
We rely on batteries for our electronics including computers, laptops, music players, mobile phones, and video game consoles. Of course we also rely on them for powering our vehicles. While batteries today have a longer life span than in the past they still will eventually run out.
Try to have a battery charger at home that you can put small batters into. Many of them charge AA, AAA, C, D, and the square 9 volts. Then you can reuse them instead of tossing them out.
However, there will eventually come a time when the batteries do have to be tossed out. What do you do? Most people simply place them into the trash can without a second thought. Yet batteries have toxins in them that are very dangerous. The goal should be to keep them out of landfills so that those chemicals don’t ruin our soil, water, and air.
Alkaline batteries that we commonly use at home for various gadgets have mercury in them that is very dangerous to the environment. Many of them say that they are mercury free but according to the EPA they still have traces of it. You may have to mail in those batteries though to get them recycled. There are very few community projects that include this type of item.
Two of the companies that you can look for information online about are Battery Solutions Inc. and The Big Green Box. You do have to pay but only for the cost of shipping the box that the batteries are in to them. It is a very small price to pay in order to clean up our environment.
These companies have precise methods that will incinerate the batteries. However, they trap the chemicals and gas so that they aren’t out there in our environment causing havoc. Zinc gases that come from alkaline batteries are often captured so that they can be used again for making various forms of metal alloys non corrosive.
Recycling vehicle batteries is very important due to the acid that they contain. The elements in them are 97% recyclable though. When you buy a new battery usually they will offer you a lower price with your old battery in exchange. This is called a core. They will take care of properly getting that old battery recycled.
If you buy a battery though without trading one in you may have that old one in your garage. It really isn’t a good idea to have it there. Yet you can’t put it in the trash can or the landfill so what do you do? Contact AAA in your area and you may find that they have a drop off location or they will pick it up for you.
April 22nd is Earth Day and many entities also sponsor collections of vehicles batteries and other items. The goal is to help with recycling them as much as possible. Each year these efforts seem to be more and more successful. That is very encouraging and sends a message that people are willing to recycle batteries if they know where to take them.
When you are taking a battery to be collected make sure you keep it upright. Place it into a bag and into a box if possible. Always wear gloves when you handle it as the acid can be very dangerous to your skin. Wash your hands immediately after touching any battery to help remove anything that may have gotten onto your skin.
If you have a battery that is leaking you need to do what you can to contain the situation. Call your local hazardous waste control and see what they can help you to do with the battery. Some of them will come to pick it up at no charge and others have a fee that is assessed to cover their costs.