Cadmium, Lead and Acid--Oh my! Why You Should Care About Battery Recycling

Although batteries are not thought to be as harmful as they once were (the amount of mercury in batteries has greatly decreased throughout the years) it’s still important to environmentally-minded consumers to recycle batteries instead of simply tossing them in the trash. Some states, such as California, have even banned all batteries from landfills.

Batteries still contain chemicals that can be harmful if not disposed of properly. Lead acid and nickel-cadmium batteries are of special concern because when the metallic cylinder eventually erodes, the chemicals can leak out and seep into the soil and into water supplies. These chemicals are known to cause several life-threatening diseases and birth defects when consumed.

Lithium batteries are also dangerous to simply throw away because if they are disposed of when charged, it is possible for them to start a fire in a landfill. Car batteries are among the most hazardous because they contain lead and acid, which are incredibly harmful when incinerated.

With smaller household batteries, such as AA’s, you can simply take them to a household hazardous waste facility in your town or find a mail-in service who will recycle them. (e-Cycle can also help with lead acid battery recycling, fyi). These batteries are not quite as harmful to the environment as rechargeable batteries. However, any batteries made before 1997 must be recycled instead of thrown away, as this was the year Congress mandated a mercury phaseout in batteries.

Rechargeable batteries, such as the ones in laptops, MP3 players, digital cameras, and cell phones have many more potentially harmful toxic chemicals and must all be recycled. Because of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation’s program, Call2Recycle, consumers can recycle rechargeable batteries for free with prepaid shipping containers for rechargeable batteries.

Call us today! 1-800-865-9137