Did you know storing old batteries in a drawer or tossing them in a garbage is a safety hazard?
“Used batteries can still hold a residual charge. If you throw them in the garbage or store them with other batteries or metal items such as paper clips, they have the potential to cause a spark that could lead to a fire,” explains Joe Zenobio, president of Call2Recycle, a not-for-profit organization that collects and recycles old batteries.
Batteries can’t be put in municipal curbside recycling programs because residential recycling facilities are not designed to separate batteries from household recyclables. Due to their metals, batteries require a specialized recycling process. They can be a safety concern for people and property.
Although safety is reason enough to recycle your batteries, there are other valuable benefits. Used batteries often contain hazardous waste materials, so it’s important to keep your old batteries out of your local landfill to help protect wildlife and the environment.
To recycle your batteries safely, follow these steps:
Place each used, undamaged battery in a clear, sealable plastic bag. The bags will protect the batteries from sparking both in your home and while being transported for recycling.
Check for damage
If you have a battery that is swollen, corroded, leaking or showing burn marks, place it immediately in sand or kitty litter in a cool, dry place. Then place it in a bag and take it to your municipal household hazardous waste recycling centre. Do not put it in the garbage.
Transport your bagged batteries to a Call2Recycle collection location near you. The organization will recycle the batteries and the recyclable bags used to safely protect the batteries.
Keep them cool
If you don’t plan to take your used batteries immediately to a collection location, store the bagged batteries in a cool, dry place in a non-metal container.