In today’s modern world, we rely on batteries to operate everything from flashlights to vehicles. Isn’t, it right? Indeed, most of the applications we use, especially electronic devices use lithium batteries. They are primary batteries that contain metallic lithium as an anode. These batteries are also known as lithium-metal batteries. They stand out from other batteries thanks to their high charge density. The thing you should know that disposable primary lithium batteries are different from a secondary lithium-ion battery, which are rechargeable ones.
Whether you want to learn about discarding primary lithium or secondary lithium battery, you have come to the right place.
When it comes to discarding batteries, most of us have so many questions in mind. As you have come to this place and so, it means that you too have. In this post, we’re going to walk you through main concerns related to discarding a lithium battery. So, spare some time and continue reading the post to learn the right ways to discard lithium batteries.
Can you throw away a lithium battery?
The first concern, of course, you would probably have is, “can you discard a lithium battery”. Isn’t, it right? Now, let’s find out the truth…
Lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries are mainly used to power smartphones, computers, watches, cameras, and other electronics. Often, lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and on the other hand, regular lithium batteries generally aren’t rechargeable. Because batteries containing lithium are “reactive” and comprise hazardous materials and that’s the reason you should not throw away in the trash.
In other words, it’s absolutely fine to throw non-rechargeable batteries in your trash, but you should keep rechargeable ones - lithium-ion batteries out. These have toxic materials that are very hazardous to our environment and health if left is trash or landfill.
Where can you discard lithium batteries?
Of course, the next concern would be - where to get rid of lithium batteries. Isn’t, it right? As mentioned earlier, batteries containing lithium are not good for our environment and that’s why you can’t throw away like regular ones in the trash.
To discard lithium batteries, you’ll have to take them to your nearby recycling center and it is easy to locate one online. Get online and look for a store or center that collects lithium batteries. Several chain & big box stores recycle batteries on their customer’s behalf. Stores generally collect batteries without charging anything, but some may charge a tiny fee for specific types of lithium batteries.
You can even get in touch with your local library/community center about the collection of batteries. Some libraries or community centers feature battery collection bins. While not all regions provide this service, it’s a decent idea to contact your local community center if they do. For instance, they may feature a special recycling bin where you can discard batteries. Or they may garner batteries on specific days, and therefore, you should contact them in advance to ensure your battery will be collected.
Or another option is to take your batteries to a household hazardous waste center if your region has one. Some local governments garner household hazardous waste or material from citizens, and it includes lithium batteries. You can locate your local center by checking your local or state government’s site. If your region doesn’t have a household hazardous waste center, then check if your regional or state government hosts a “household hazardous waste collection” event. These generally occur on a regular basis, for instance, annually.
These are all options where you can discard your lithium batteries. As you can now see that it all depends on your location or region. However, there are several options and thus, you probably find the one that’s most suitable for you. Just don’t forget the thing that rechargeable batteries or batteries containing toxic materials shouldn’t be thrown away in the regular trash. If you do this, then you can harm your environment and yourself too.
What do you need to pay attention to when you discard lithium batteries?
While discarding lithium batteries, there are certain things you should know.
First of all, you should take over your battery ends using electrical tape. As batteries can yet spark, the battery ends can be dangerous. Tape would help in preventing sparking or the discharge of the battery energy. Once removing the battery from your application, don’t forget to cover its ends.
Or you can place the batteries in a plastic bag as an alternative. Of course, taping it before bagging it is good, but that doesn’t essential. It’s great to leave your bag unsealed in case storing as the batteries can give off gases. If you rely on a plastic bag, then don’t forget to bag the batteries separately. If you store them together, then they can spark and lead to a fire, even if the battery charge is gone. That’s why keeping them separate is important, especially for your own safety. Once they are bagged, you can place them next to each other.
Batteries generally produce off gases and that’s why you shouldn’t store them in an airtight container. Pick a container that lets air to exit. Of course, you can close the container, but ensure that it isn’t sealed.
Don’t even combine different kinds of batteries as it can lead to a reaction even the batteries are taped. Make sure to place batteries in separate storage containers. Of course, you can place the containers in the same place as long as the batteries you stored in separate containers.
Make sure to store your batteries in a dry, cool place until discard. You should avoid extreme temperatures because batteries can be very reactive. That’s why make sure to keep them dry. Keep your used batteries in a cabinet, closet or pantry.
Finally, you can now take your lithium batteries to the nearby collection site.
That’s everything you should know about discarding lithium batteries. As you can see that even a tiny mistake can put you in danger. That’s why it’s always suggested to be careful when it comes to batteries.
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