Why are batteries recycled separately?

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Posted by Keith Hirst on 27 September 2018

Recycling has become an integral part of our business – and our life. Much like many of you, we’re highly dedicated to recycling as much as we can in our efforts to preserve the Earth’s beautiful natural environment. A large part of that effort involves educating others. There is often a confusion amongst the public concerning the correct way to dispose of batteries. This article is going to dispel the myths around battery disposal and explain the correct way to discard your used batteries.

Can batteries be recycled?

The simple answer is yes; unfortunately, however, it’s not quite that simple. While batteries can be recycled, they cannot be recycled by adding them to your household recycling bin. This is because batteries contain highly toxic materials. These toxic materials:

  1. are more difficult to recycle and therefore need to be be delivered to a specialist battery recycling centre.
  2. can infiltrate other recyclable items (such as paper) which then become no longer fit for recycling and are forced to be sent to landfill.

Why is this a problem?

It is detrimental to the environment for these hazardous materials to reach landfill. This is why batteries should absolutely not be thrown out in the general rubbish bin. Hazardous substances in batteries include acid, lead, nickel, lithium, cadmium, alkaline and mercury. When these materials reach landfill, they seep out and permeate the soil. Not only is this destructive to the environment and dangerous to wildlife, but it also infects the water that ends up coming out of our taps.

So if I can’t put batteries in household waste and I can’t put them in household recycling – what do I do with them?

Batteries can be recycled by taking them to your local battery recycling point. Many supermarkets and shops supply battery collection services where you can take your batteries to be recycled appropriately. Some local councils also offer battery collection services, but you will need to check with them to determine how this is implemented in your area.

Alternatively, you can recycle batteries through specialist companies, such as Thompson Fuel and Skip Hire. We offer a wide range of recycling services, including batteries, in which we will remove and recycle any recyclable material you wish to get rid of.

What happens to my batteries after I’ve recycled them?

There are many types of batteries – all which are comprised of various materials and are recycled in different ways. Alkaline batteries, the most common, household batteries, are recycled via a specialised ‘room temperature’ mechanical separation which separates the battery into individual products. The seperated products can then be put back onto the market and reused once again.

At Thompson Fuel & Skip Hire, we strive to recycle as much of your waste as possible. Our expert team are passionate about undertaking our recycling services, and we always ensure the materials we take are recycled in the correct manner. For more information, call our friendly staff today.

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