Be Eco – how to dispose of a used battery the correct way

People in the UK will use over 600 million household batteries every year and 97% of these will be thrown into landfill sites. A recent article in The Independent highlighted the problems surrounding the disposal of used batteries. Currently, the UK aims to recycle 45% of batteries by 2016 saving approximately 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide gases annually. In comparison 90% of automotive batteries are recycled per year.


Disposing of your car battery

Anyone who drives a car or motorcycle will at some point need to replace their battery. One supplier of these is, Pure Drive Batteries, who will not only replace your old battery but will also recycle it for you. Almost every garage will dispose of your old car battery as they contain materials that can be used to manufacture new or recycled batteries. This will not only save money in the long term but will also help the planet.


Why should I dispose my used battery safely?

Batteries are made up of highly toxic elements and if they are simply casually abandoned, these poisons will dissipate into the environment. These toxins include lead, mercury, and lithium and if they pollute the environment they will also contaminate humans and wildlife. If you use a mobile phone, have a car, or even a household torch; you must dispose of your redundant battery with care.


How are batteries recycled?

You cannot recycle your battery at home. Approved outlets will remove the lead in a battery by fragmenting it and then sieving the ingredients. Plastic will float to the top of a vat, and the heavy and toxic materials will remain at the bottom. Both of these materials can be reused, but only when they have been separated. This process can be applied to all types of battery, but can only be carried out by professionals who have access to protective clothing and know what they are doing.


Where can I recycle my battery?

According to the website ‘only three to five percent of all household batteries are recycled. Many old batteries end up in landfill where they can leak harmful chemicals.’ Most UK supermarkets and some other high street outlets have a bin for used batteries. Most public buildings will display the ‘Be Positive’ sign that indicates that they have a battery collection point. In your own home, you could suggest that the family place all used batteries in a single storage space, and then take your collection along to one of these recycling sites.


Contact your local council for recycling

The government website has a whole chapter on the dangers of used batteries and how you should dispose of them. If you are a garage or deal in abandoned vehicles, then all that you will have to do is fill in your postcode on the website and you’ll be directed to your local authorised outlet that will be able to get rid of your battery safely.

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