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Where to Drop Off Lithium Batteries-Dispose and Care

Where to Drop Off Lithium Batteries-Dispose and Care

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If you have dead lithium batteries, you are probably going to need to locate a suitable area at which I will dispose of my clothes. Lithium batteries come in many shapes, sizes and potential power supply. They have taken route into man's most precious devices from all over the world. As much as these cells have been well-appraised for their achievements, they also pose high risks when disposed of inappropriately instead of taking them to the right and suitable disposal sites. This guide focuses on showing you the various ways and places in which you can safely dispose of your lithium batteries. 

Where can you dispose of lithium batteries?

The regulations set for the disposal of lithium batteries depend on the state or region you may be in because these states differ in rules. The first thing you should do is start locally. Look for such recycling opportunities in your area first. You can also use the Earth911 tool to help you get to know the best recycling joint is or disposal pit and collection sites for hazardous materials. The Earth911 will give you all the information needed about the right sites to which you can dispose of your batteries. 

Can you throw away lithium batteries?

Lithium-ion batteries are secondary rechargeable cells and can thus be recycled before disposing of. However, you cannot simply throw away this type of battery or any other kind. This is because lithium-ion cells contain highly reactive materials in their chemical composition and when thrown away carelessly, they can significantly affect the environment negatively. Significant variations in environmental conditions such as temperature can cause thermal runaway within the cells causing the ignition of sparks, which can create fires. The best option for lithium-ion batteries is to look for recycling sites or donate them to retailers' electronics. 

How do you dispose of old batteries?

Batteries are generally used in an extensive range of applications from standard and conventional electronic devices to high-end inventions such as electric machines and vehicles. Just like any other source of power that isn't renewable, there comes a time when the battery is exhausted beyond its life expectancy even with rechargeable cells. Disposing of these cells has proven to be a challenge as many a time; users only focus on the primary use of the cells than the disposal regulations. Thus, one needs to find the appropriate means of getting rid or, instead, dispose of these cells because they contain hazardous reactive materials such as acids and poisonous metals that can cause harm to the environment. 

Different types of batteries require different types of disposal means in its appropriate disposal site while others need to be availed for recycling at the designated drop-off sites within your area. You need to research on the regulations to ensure you do not endanger the environment by careless disposal of old batteries. 

Alkaline batteries

These cells power standard battery-operated equipment such as flashlights, smoke detectors/ alarms, toys or remote controls. They vary in shape and sizes and their disposal should depend on the regulations set by your local waste management. Most alkaline cells produced are made of less hazardous materials as compared to other cell types and can thus be safely thrown into the trash. 

In some areas, they are however, treated like hazardous waste materials and thus required to be recycled or dropped off at a relevant facility. The batteries can also be dropped off at local electronic retailers, recycling, or community center. 

Rechargeable batteries

Old rechargeable cells that contained nickel and cadmium have a very negative effect on the environment when they are thrown into a public incinerator. Such cells may only be disposed of at a waste collection site for hazardous materials or recycling facilities. There could also be many electronic retailers who would accept used rechargeable batteries for purposes of recycling. 

Vehicle batteries

Car batteries usually contain lead-acid and therefore, can never be disposed of together with the regular trash or your other recycling materials. You can hence dispose of car batteries at an auto parts retailer or a collection site for hazardous materials. There are waste disposal sites that focus more on hazardous materials to which you can drop off your hazardous trash. 

Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are the type of cells that power portable electronic devices such as your smartphone. They are also used in the application of high-end inventions such as electric cars and planes. You can drop-off your lithium-ion batteries at a recycling center or collection site for hazardous materials. There may also be electronics retailers within your area that may accept donations of these cells. 

Button batteries

These are the kind of individual flat and round batteries used in hearing aids as well as watches and specific remote controls. They contain lithium, mercuric oxide, zinc-air or silver oxide in their composition thus making them hazardous materials that should be appropriately disposed of. 

Why is recycling better than disposal?

Many batteries contain toxic materials lead, lithium, cadmium, mercury or sulfur in their chemical composition. Recycling helps divert these cells from being exposed to potentially hazardous risks such as battery leaks when disposed of appropriately. Most batteries in the market are also recyclable enabling participants in the process to recover valuable materials such as metals from the cells. Disposing of your lithium batteries for example, could lead to environmental degradation; however, much the batteries may seem dead to you. 

Final thoughts 

Your home may avail many battery-powered electronics of which have previously drained some batteries out of their energy during operations. There is no need to wait for the dead cells to pile up because it has got to be you who would take action and locate the best strategic point at which you can dispose of all of them. Based on what they are used for, the batteries should be treated differently when it comes to the various means of disposal. Getting rid of a battery may be an effective way of keeping your household clean, but it would be more efficient to recycle them instead.