A lot of people don’t think much about battery disposal. We get through a lot of standard batteries nowadays and when the batteries need changing in an appliance or a remote control then most people will simply throw them away. This also goes for other batteries that they may use on other devices and products.
So, battery disposal for many people is simply a question of throwing their old batteries away. The problem is that these will then end up in landfill sites with other rubbish. Some batteries can contain some fairly toxic substances which aren’t good for the environment plus any plastic used in their manufacture may not be easily biodegradable.
Whilst most regular alkaline batteries may not do a lot of harm being disposed of this way as they may already have been made with an eye for general rubbish recycling, batteries that contain lithium or NiCad are not great for the environment at all. But, the most common battery disposal route taken for these types of batteries remains sticking them in the rubbish.
Consumers can find ways of more effective and environmentally friendly battery disposal. Some companies, for example, will encourage groups of people and schools to collect their dead batteries and to send them to them. The company will then usually ship the batteries off to specialist businesses where they can be recycled.
The whole battery may not be recycled as part of this battery disposal process. The aim of most companies here is to recycle what can be reused or that can be salvaged usefully. This is obviously a better route to disposing of batteries than simply letting them sit in a landfill site.
Larger or unusual batteries such as car batteries are, most often, recycled when it comes time for their owners to find a method of battery disposal. You may not actually be able to simply throw your car battery into your regular household rubbish and may need to take it to a specific collection point where it can be dealt with or sent away for recycling.
Given that we are being encouraged by the government to up our recycling percentages and habits as a whole it may be that better battery disposal becomes more available to all of us. Most people are willing not to throw things away that can be recycled or that that need special treatment. But, most do need to know what to do here or to have a method of safe disposal given to them before they know what action to take.