Disposing Batteries Safely
Just about everyone uses batteries for household items. They are used in flashlights, games, phones and many other appliances. This doesn’t account for batteries that are left around, half-charged or dead. Batteries, even dead ones, contain toxic and corrosive chemicals that harm the environment. This renders them as hazardous waste. Throwing batteries in the trash puts the public at risk. Here are a few tips for the safe disposal of batteries.
Suspect batteries should be removed from all devices. Place them inside Ziploc bags or individual sandwich bags that are secured with rubber bands. Use one bag per battery, since if they come in contact with each other, they can produce a weak charge and rupture. Place all the bags inside a larger plastic bag and mark it with a felt pen. Never group several batteries together in one container, like a cardboard box or metal container—they can leak corrosive chemicals and contaminate the container or anything near it.
A local City Hall is the best primary contact point. Ask to speak to a person of authority in the Waste Disposal Division. Ask about the next scheduled hazardous waste pick-up for your community. You might be informed of a permanent location that already exists or even a recycling program. Make a note of the address and take them there. If you must wait for a scheduled pick-up, ask about specific instructions for the date, time and place. You might also receive instructions for the manner of disposal and this depends on the community regulations as it pertains to your city or county.
Large hardware stores and improvement centers often have a container for the disposal of batteries. You can call them and ask if they provide this service. If they have no such service, they might direct you to a resource that has this convenience. If they do have special containers for battery disposal, ask about the days and locations for drop-offs and plan your transport on that day.
Car batteries are extremely dangerous if left out in the open or contained within a household or garage. They contain caustic acid. If the battery case is cracked, the acid can ruin anything it comes in contact with. The fumes of a car battery are also hazardous. Under the right conditions, car batteries can explode. The best place for the disposal of a car battery is the place of purchase, since they deal with Replacing Battery decisions every day. This could be a large department store automotive center, a repair shop or an automotive parts store. Double wrap the battery in plastic and place in your vehicle. Transport it in the trunk or rear cabin area of the car. Place mats or thin wood sheets underneath the battery to guard against any leakage. Roll down the windows for adequate ventilation. Contact your trusted battery supplier for additional information.