Ask any waste management professional, environmental expert, or even your kindergartener and they’ll tell you: Recycling can benefit your community and the environment.
Like other forms of recycling, battery recycling recovers harmful materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill and turns them into new products.
As it turns out, there are many benefits to recycling your spent batteries beyond those that usually come to mind. Here are 5 of the best reasons to recycle your batteries:
1. Battery recycling is the law
Federal and state laws set out certain requirements around battery recycling.
According to federal law, certain chemistries including lead acid batteries, lithium-based batteries in high volumes and nickel cadmium batteries must be recycled.
Some states also have their own recycling regulations. For example, in California, all batteries that are intended for disposal must be recycled or taken to a hazardous waste disposal facility.
Failure to comply with federal or state laws can result in hefty fines.
2. Recycling batteries keeps dangerous materials out of landfills
Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel. If released, these metals may be harmful to humans and the environment.
When batteries end up in landfills, they corrode and chemicals leach into the soil. These chemicals can eventually make their way into our water supply.
There’s also the risk of fires. According to Battery University, lithium batteries can ignite landfill fires that burn underground for years, releasing harmful chemicals into the air.
Recycling your batteries is an easy way to make sure these chemicals don’t end up in landfills in the first place.
3. Recycling reduces the need for raw materials and conserves resources
Battery production relies on materials such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Many of these materials are rare and expensive to mine.
What’s more, mining these metals comes at a high cost to humans and the environment.
The extraction of nickel, for example — which is used in electric car batteries — can generate dust containing high levels of potentially toxic metals like copper, cobalt, chromium, and nickel.
Miners in third world countries who dig for cobalt, oftentimes children, labor in harsh and dangerous conditions.
By recycling spent batteries, we’re able to reduce the need to collect new raw materials and conserve resources.
4. Battery recycling promotes the reuse of materials in producing new batteries
When you recycle your spent batteries, many of the materials can be reused to make more batteries. For example, over 70% of the weight of a lead acid battery is reusable lead!
As the cost of raw materials increases, reusing materials from old batteries can help keep the cost of new batteries low.
5. You can get paid!
Another reason to think twice about tossing your spent batteries in the dumpster: they could be worth some cash!
Many people mistakenly assume that their batteries are worthless once they stop working.
But in many cases, the materials inside the battery still have some value.
Most recyclers will try to recycle the batteries at no cost to you, and in some cases, you can even get money back for your recycled batteries.
How much you can get for your spent batteries will depend on the type of battery you recycle and current market pricing.
Recycle with Battery Recyclers of America
Whether you’re concerned with your environmental impact or just want to get some cash for your spent batteries, there are so many great reasons to recycle.
Contact our team today or call (800-508-6670) for a recycling quote or to schedule a pickup.