(BPT) – Do you have a pile of used household batteries hidden in your junk drawer or in a coffee can in the garage? You know you should be environmentally responsible and recycle them, but you aren’t sure where to start. So the pile grows larger.
But did you also know that extra precautions are required when storing and recycling them? Some batteries retain a residual charge even after they can no longer properly power a device. These batteries may appear dead but they can be a safety risk because their power has not been completely used up. Some batteries can combust or spark, causing a fire or other safety incident.
That’s why it’s important for anyone with used batteries to embrace some simple safety tips when storing them. Call2Recycle, the leading consumer battery recycling program in North America, offers these recommendations for safely protecting your batteries to avoid any issues:
1. Bag each battery in its own clear plastic bag before placing it in a storage container. If a bag isn’t available, you can tape the terminals with these tape types: clear packing, non-conductive electrical and duct. Avoid masking, painter and Scotch tape; opaque bags or any wax products. Make sure the label is visible.
2. Store the batteries in a cool, dry place. Incidents can occur when batteries (or the devices they power such as a cellphone or tablet) are exposed to inclement or excessively hot weather. Store them in a plastic container; avoid metal or cardboard.
3. Keep an eye out for damaged batteries. If you see a swollen or bulging battery, immediately put it in a non-flammable material such as sand or kitty litter in a cool, dry place. Do not dispose of it in the trash. Contact Call2Recycle, the manufacturer or retailer immediately for instructions, especially if the label says it is Lithium or Lithium-Ion.
4. Drop them off within six months. Call2Recycle recommends storing old batteries no longer than six months. Make sure they are bagged or taped before dropping them off for recycling.
You can drop off rechargeable batteries for free at a Call2Recycle public drop-off site anywhere in the U.S. The online locator can help you find a nearby site; its Recycle on the Way feature helps you add a recycling stop on your errand run. Retailers such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Staples also accept them for recycling.
For single-use batteries, you can drop them off at select Call2Recycle participating locations, purchase your own Call2Recycle recycling box or contact your local community recycling center for other options.
All household batteries can be recycled. In particular, metals in rechargeable batteries can be repurposed into other products such as new batteries, stainless steel pans and golf clubs. By dropping them at a Call2Recycle drop-off site, you can be assured that your used batteries will be kept out of the landfill and recycled in the most sustainable way possible.
Start your commitment to safe battery recycling today. For more information, visit www.Call2Recycle.org.
* Discarded car batteries are potential source of lead pollution.
And, Battery technology is undergoing rapid changes. New type of Batteries such as lithium-ion batteries are replacing the lead-acid batteries. So, over 200 million lead-acid batteries will potentially be retired in the United States, and that could cause a lot of environmental issues.
Researchers at MIT have proposed a system to recycle the materials from the discarded car batteries into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.
Their system is based on a recent development in solar cells that makes use of a compound called perovskite.
Because the perovskite photovoltaic material takes the form of a thin film just half a micrometer thick, the team’s analysis shows that the lead from a single car battery could produce enough solar panels to provide power for 30 households.
As an added advantage, the production of perovskite solar cells is a relatively simple process.
According to the researchers, this new process is pretty interchangeable with the current production method.
The researchers (Angela M. Belcher , Paula T. Hammond and team) don’t intend to start a company to commercialize their technology. Instead, they wanted to show people who are developing and manufacturing perovskite solar cells that the lead from old batteries performs just as well as mined lead.
So they have published a video for explaining the process step by step.
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Recycling old batteries into solar cells. Recycling one single car battery can power 30 households.