RecyclingAre you aware that millions of batteries are thrown away each year?
Are you aware that many of these batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium.
Are you aware that household and industrial products contain batteries than can be recycled?
Lead-acid batteries are the environmental success story of our time. More than 97 percent of all battery lead is recycled. Compared to 55% of aluminium soft drink and beer cans, 45% of newspapers, 26% of glass bottles and 26% of tires, lead-acid batteries top the list of the most highly recycled consumer product.
The lead-acid battery gains its environmental edge from its closed-loop life cycle. The typical new lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic. When a spent battery is collected, it is sent to a permitted recycler where, under strict environmental regulations, the lead and plastic are reclaimed and sent to a new battery manufacturer. The recycling cycle goes on indefinitely. That means the lead and plastic in the lead-acid battery in your car, truck, boat or motorcycle have been - and will continue to be -- recycled many, many times. This makes lead-acid battery disposal extremely successful from both environmental and cost perspectives.
Mercury used in batteries for hearing aids, pacemakers, photographic equipment. Zinc air - an alternative to mercury button cells - used for hearing aids and radio pagers.
Silver oxide used for electronic watches and calculators. Lithium used for watches and photographic equipment. Dry-cell rechargeable - general purpose rechargeable batteries for the above uses, and also including Nickel cadmium, Nickel metal hydride and Lithium-Ion batteries used in power tools, cordless appliances, mobile phones etc.
Nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries represent one of the fastest growing sectors in the battery market. Used for cordless power tools, personal stereos, portable telephones, lap-top computers, shavers, motorised toys etc, with a life of 4-5 years. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are a less environmentally harmful alternative to NiCad and tend to have a longer life. Lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries have a greater energy storage capacity than NiCad and NiMH batteries. Using rechargeable batteries reduces the number of batteries requiring disposal, but 80% of them contain nickel cadmium, a known human carcinogen, and therefore need to be disposed of safely.